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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Bailey to pitch Friday, what's it mean?

Homer Bailey debuts Friday. From the Reds:

RHP Homer Bailey, the Reds' No. 1 pick in the June 2004 first-year player draft (seventh overall) will make his Major League debut Friday night vs. Cleveland at Great American Ball Park...he will wear uniform number 34...Bailey has been at Class AAA Louisville all season (10 games started, 6-1, 2.31 ERA, 58 IP, 39 hits, 24 BB, 51 K, 3 HR)...he will become the first player selected by the Reds in the 2004 draft to play in the Major Leagues.

Bailey's scheduled start means that Matt Belisle will pitch Saturday.

So what do you think? As a reader pointed out, this is not a cure-all, but, as a Reds fan, what do you compare this to? Is it like Adam Dunn coming up when he went from AA to AAA to the Reds? Is is as big a deal as the media (I plead guilty on all counts here) is making it? Will go the game? Change plans to try to watch?


at 12:04 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

I think it's time and I'll certainly be tuned in to watch Bailey's performance (sorry can't make it to GAB for the game). But we all know regardless of how well Homer pitches he's not going to solve the large number of shortcomings this team is showing. I'm actually more excited to see Hamilton back in the lineup as I think he'll give our offense a jolt that it needs. I'd also like to see Hopper play a little more for us and lead off. He's performed well and should be rewarded. Perhaps it is time to move Dunn, his large contract and his very large number of strikeouts. The Reds lead the league in homeruns so we won't miss Dunn's power that much. What I'm sure of is that we won't miss his strikeouts. I heard Chris Walsh (I believe it was Chris who said this) defend Dunn's low RBI numbers by saying it's more a sign of people not getting on base ahead of him. Well anyone who's been watching the Reds the last couple of years knows that there has been ample opportunity to plate runners in which Dunn has failed to come through for the team. Let's see what the Angels will offer us for him? Any other AL team lacking some power for that matter too. We need to see more team speed, higher BA and OBP, clutch hitting, and solid defense. Dunn strikes out in all of these categories. I hate to say it really because I'm a big Adam Dunn fan but I think it best for this team to move him.

at 12:29 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Bailey gives up less than 3 runs in 6 innings and he should get a permanent slot in the Reds rotation for the rest of the season, no matter what!

Bailey gives up more than 5 runs in 3 innings, he goes back to Louisville.

Anything in betweeen and he should get until the All-Star break to earn a spot in the rotation.

Hey, I'm just trying to use Narronesque (rigid, silly, formulaic "thinking").

Actually, Bailey ought to get a Milton's worth of starts before he gets sent down again. Milton is a proven loser. Let Bailey prove what he is over an equivalent time frame, and start doing that with more young talent. This team can't afford wishful thinking any more! And it's wishful thinking to think that Milton, Stanton, Majewski and Coffey are going to improve at all from their real (lousy) baselines.

at 12:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The season is a lost cause so it doesn't really matter. Another questionable move by the Reds. If they had waited about another month, Bailey be eligible for arbitration for 3 years. Now, if he stays with the club the rest of the year, he will be eligible in 2 years. This will cost this small market, salary challenged team millions. Go figure.

at 12:42 PM Anonymous Christopher said...

I'm glad he's coming up, although I'm not sure why. There isn't a real need for him at this point, unless he's going to start in the bullpen. All of our starters have a chance of putting a win up on the board when they go on the mound. Our bullpen is a different story.

I also heard Homer doesn't have a good command of pitches besides his fastball, but I'm not sure if that's reliable information. He's going to need other pitches to survive in the majors.

Good luck to him, and maybe this can be an excuse to push Milton into the bullpen.

at 12:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's about time this kid gets a shot. Regardless of the outcome on Friday - good or bad, we need not get too excited. He's still young and will make some mistakes, but the upside on Homer Bailey is worth taking the chance on. After all, what other options do we have? He's proven he can pitch at the Minor league level and we need to see if he can do it at the big league level. If he can give us anything at all at the #5 position in the rotation, leave him in there and let him learn.

at 12:50 PM Anonymous Jazz said...

He doesn't have anything else to prove at the AAA level, judging by his record and stats. So I say, keep challenging him because no one gets better without being challenged. Let him come up and see what it's like so he and the coaches know what pitches he most needs to work on.

I saw him make his AA debut in Chattanooga, but I think I'll see this one from my couch.

at 1:13 PM Anonymous TGO said...

I'm actually more excited to see Hamilton back in the lineup as I think he'll give our offense a jolt that it needs.

The offense has scored 5 runs per game in the 16 games Hamilton has missed. The offense is fine. Let's not turn this thread into an Adam Dunn debate.

Homer is up and should pitch the rest of the season, not get the Livingston treatment. He's got a 2 ERA in AAA. What else is there for him down there?

at 1:15 PM Blogger Glenn Braggs said...

Given the way the season has gone I do feel Bailey (and Livingston) deserve a shot. Why not? If those two can give somewhat quality starts, along with Belisle, Arroyo and Harang, things may start to look better. Still doesn't change the problem...the bullpen. Lohse might be a good middle inning guy there, since he struggles so much in the first few innings as a starter.

One encouraging sight over the last few weeks...the young guys playing good, solid baseball.

at 1:20 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

Hey John, does Bailey pitching on Friday mean that he'll be around for another start because Belisle won't be available for another day now? I haven't looked at the schedule yet to see but I was wondering about it as I read your update. Oh and I said Chris Walsh when I meant Chris Welch in my first post.

at 1:37 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think Bailey's here for good, unless they have reason to seen him down.

at 1:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a couple of weeks ago everyone, scouts, teammates, catcher, coaches, manager, all said he wasn't ready. Now all of the sudden he is? I don't buy it and don't think the risk is worth the wait. This season is a wash, so what's the point? Leave him in Louisville and allow him to continue to develop in a controlled environment.

at 2:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It means: My boyfriend is back in town!!!!! -JF

Seriously: Homer wasn't ready until Larry Barton Jr. said he was wasn't ready (after watching him in Columbus). Krivsky was like I'll show you and I'll call him up.
(Honestly I think this is Castelleni and Narron's call, not Krivsky and player development's).

On another serious note: You start the clock on Homer but leave Dumatrait in AAA? Dumatrait is out of options after this year, you better see if he is worth keeping before you lose him next year or have to keep him in the MLB's all next year.

at 2:02 PM Blogger Jeff Gentil said...

Remember everyone's favorite lost draft pick, Jeremy Sowers was the next best thing. This year, not so much. 1-6 with a 6.63 ERA. I hope the fans don't expect Homer to be the savior. It's probably not going to happen right away. We need to lower our expectations. The jump from AAA to the Majors is HUGE!

at 2:12 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The Sowers point is a good one. But they are different of kind of pitchers. Sowers reminds me of Brandon Claussen: His stuff is good enough to put away guys at Triple-A, but not so much in the majors.

We'll see how Bailey's stuff holds up.

I think they'll look at Dumatrait in Sept. But he's gotten hit hard in lately. Now would be not the time to bring him up.

at 2:13 PM Blogger Mark T said...

Who's "Milton"?

at 2:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but Dumatrait hasn't been up all year so his options hasn't been used.

at 2:19 PM Anonymous Flash said...

Can he pitch the 8th everynight instead of starting?

at 2:21 PM Blogger John Fay said...

You don't have to be sent to majors to use as an option. Dumatrait was on the 40-man, so he had to optioned to Triple-A after camp. Some players -- Wily Mo Pena for instance -- use up options before they make the majors.

at 2:21 PM Blogger ScottyJ said...

First, to the anonymous poster earlier, anybody that says this season is lost is no fan of the Reds. There's only been 58 games played which leaves 2/3 of the season remaining. Throw in the towel and call it quits??!? Hardly!!

John, as far as a comparison, I don't really have one. I think it is as big a deal as the media is making it. The starting pitching is good...for now. As the old (and true) saying goes, you can't have too much pitching.

I won't be coming to the game, but I'll definitely be watching.

Go get 'em Redlegs!!!!!

at 2:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't the Reds follow the White Sox rule of thumb. You don't produce you go to AAA and we bring in the next guy? Aardsma and MacDougal out Prinz and Bukvich in.

Here's the Reds motto: 1. Ride the guy that's hot until he blows up and move to the next guy. 2. Create double standards for veterans and Carolina boys. They aren't held accountable like Narron holds EdE and Salmon accountable. 3. Follow the same stupid logic because Narron thinks "Ohh' it might work out different this time"!

Homer is up because of the publicity not because he's ready. The front office, coaches, and player development don't agree on anything. I would love to take some of the Reds minor league coaches and scouts out for a beer to get their take on all this. My guess they'd say that what's going on is a joke. Johnny Almarez and Larry Barton Jr. sure didn't think much of this administration and moved on (After being w/ the Reds for years and winning multiple World Series). The Reds are better off w/o them (you can tell by the record).

What a joke!!! When does football start?

at 2:38 PM Blogger Don said...

If those two can give somewhat quality starts, along with Belisle, Arroyo and Harang, things may start to look better.

That has been my mindset with this team for the past five years. Unfortunately ifs never come to pass and the Reds continue to struggle. IF the offense gets in gear, IF the bullpen starts producing, IF the starting rotation improves. There are always too many ifs for the Reds to overcome to be able to win.

at 2:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First, to the anonymous poster earlier, anybody that says this season is lost is no fan of the Reds. There's only been 58 games played which leaves 2/3 of the season remaining. Throw in the towel and call it quits??!? Hardly!!"

If anyone thinks that Homer Bailey is going to be the difference maker between this team being a playoff contender and a pretender, you are in for a rude awakening. Unless this team totally revamps the bullpen, this team stands no chance whatsoever. It doesn't have anything to do with being a Reds fan or not, it's just reality. If this team was a starter away from contending for the playoffs, this move makes total sense. Right now, it is nothing but a publicity stunt that puts the most valuable pitcher in your minor league system at risk. Just ask Felix Hernandez.

at 2:52 PM Blogger Don said...

anybody that says this season is lost is no fan of the Reds.

That is one strange way to define loyalty. Some are optimists, some are realists, while others are pessimists. There are pessimists that sit in front of the TV/radio/internet every night watching or listening to Reds games. I am sure there are pessimists who attend games regularly. Just because they take a jaded view of this season does not necessarily mean they are not Reds fans.

at 3:04 PM Blogger Greg said...

If Narron knew how to put a lineup together Dunn's numbers would be better.

Bailey is not a cure all, but he should be part of the answer!

If Dunn is not the answer and they trade him and Griffey, then what does Narron do when they bring up Bruce and Votto. FYI - They are both Left handed hitters!

at 3:07 PM Anonymous TGO said...

I'll bet the GM wished that coaches, scouts and front office people always agreed on everything. It would make their job a lot easier. It's the GM's job to make the call when there are conflicting reports. Bottom line is that he's too good for AAA, the Reds are so far out of the playoff picture that Bailey can't single-handedly hurt their chances and in fact may help, and it's late enough in the year that he can play in the bigs without hurting his arbitration clock. It's the best long-term decision for the Reds. Even if he has a bad year, even if he gets hurt, this is the right move to make.

I don't know much about Mr. Barton or Mr. Almarez, but I would suggest that things have changed a lot since the 1970's. And when the Reds have had so few internal pitching prospects in the last 30 years, and such a long playoff drought due in part to a lack of internally developed talent, I think the internal changes are LONG overdue.

at 3:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

TGO: I tend to disagree.

Here's why: 1. Bowden was the GM drafting and pulling the trigger on trades. (So you have the 90's that totally screwed up the farm system). 2. Fire sale brought in talent (Harang, Dumatrait, and Belisle). 3. O'Brien did an excellent job of drafting and signing players. (Not a great track record in the bigs but fixed a bare farm system w/ guys like Bailey and Bruce) 4. O'Brien also had Almarez as his right hand man. 5. I don't believe Krivsky trusts anyone and that has lead to experienced/veteran players that are washed up (McCraken sp?, Cormier (paying 2.5mil when the guy just retired), Stanton (given a 2 year contract at age 40).

at 3:45 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

I guess I share the same view as others, in that I like seeing Bailey called up, but it seems transparent. The kid's not up here to push the team over the top -- he's up here to keep cheeks in the seats as this team continues a last place season.

Why Krivsky hasn't done anything except minor tweaking this season is mind blowing. After last season's flurry of trades you'd expect at least *something* especially with regard to the bullpen. They've spent the first two months of the season rearranging deck chairs when really they need a new boat.

That's not cynicism...that's just fact.

at 3:55 PM Blogger cow town said...

How many years were Barton and Almarez in the Reds player development department, and how many starting pitchers did they develop?

at 3:58 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

Bringing up Bailey just means it's a look toward the future. Now I don't mean to say the big guys are throwing in the towel on this season (although a lot of fans have) but Bailey is a big part of the future of this franchise and I'm happy to see it beginning now as I think he's proven himself in Louisville this year and deserves the chance. With that being said we all should know that this one move isn't going to completely turn the season around. Let's talk out bench players now? I can't believe such a big deal is being made about Valentin being our best pinch hitter so we have to keep a third catcher. And if we get ourselves into a position of pinch hitting Castro when we need a clutch 2 out hit again then we deserve to be in last place. I think the thing that bothers me the most about watching the Reds' slide this year is that we have most likely the best pitching rotation we've had in years (which every expert will tell you was our weak spot) and yet we are not winning more games. We really lack leadership on this team. From the manager to the position players to the rotation and the bullpen. This team just seems to hang their heads and underachieve. When a team underachieves like this you have to blame the manager first and then the veterans secondly. We also have a lot of good young talent that if given the chance to play could bring a little life and motivation back into the roster. We have too much talent to be in last place in the weakest div in baseball and regardless of whether or not you agree with my opinion on the rotation, our bench players or even trading Adam Dunn I think most fans would agree with that statement. Watching a good team play poorly night after night just gets us all down. Go Homer, and Go Reds!

at 4:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot Tip, ladies: Not a single person has said Bailey is going to win 25 games and thrust us into the playoffs. It's about experience and the fact that our pitching staff isn't good enough to keep someone with potential in the minors. Honestly, would you rather watch Kyle Lohse or Homer lose 15 games this year. Throwing Bailey into the fire is at least working towards something. Oh yeah, and who here definitively knows that he isn't ready? Don't say: "Me. Trent Rosecrans talked to someone who said he wasn't ready." This is absurd.

at 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The call up is hilarious.......

All day the guys on the local talk shows have been talking his shortcomings.

First they want the"phenon" up here and now they question his worthiness........

As a local scout said.... "Give people three books on the kid, and he's in trouble".

at 4:24 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

You guys have got to stop taking up for Dunn. Just look at these stats from this year: With Runners in scoring position and 2 out BA .136. 22 AB with 12 SO!!!

With no-one on base he's batting .289, with runners on it drops to .209 and with runners in scoring position he only hits .191 He strikes out 43% of the time with runners in scoring position. This is why he doesn't get sac flies, doesn't put any pressure on the defense and has a poor HR to RBI ratio. And he's grounded into as many DP's this year as he did all of last year. He is just not clutch enough guys. I'd rather have a .300 hitter at the plate who can put the ball in play then a guy who barely bats .200 with runners on base and is going to strike out 43% of the time. I used to be on the other side too but when you get to really looking at his stats it's just not acceptable, then factor in his poor defense and there's just no reason to keep him and his 10 mil going on 13 million dollar contract. Get what we can out of him and we'll be fine without him.

at 4:39 PM Anonymous TGO said...

If I remember correctly, last season's flurry of trades happened at the very beginning of the season and in July. Not much happens between any teams in between. We'll start to see a trade or two in June, but the flurry of activity league-wide won't hit the fan until July as team fiure out if they want to be buyers or sellers.

Again, I don't know much about Barton or Almarez. Did they complain about Bowden when they left? I would just think if they disagreed with the stuff Bowden did in the 90's that they would have left long before Krivsky came to town.

at 4:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Me. Trent Rosecrans talked to someone who said he wasn't ready."

Come one now, nobody is claiming that they are getting that info from anyone in the media. Bailey's own teamates and his catcher have all been quoted as saying he is not ready, just weeks ago. This isn't coming from the media, it's coming right out of the mouths of people who scout, coach, and play with Homer on a daily basis. If anything, it's the media that seems to be ignoring that information right now.

at 5:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone said over on another Enguirer blog, due to scheduling the Reds could send Homer down over the All-Star and any days he spot would be skipped and he wouldn't be a super-2.

Of course he is ready! Look at the Mariners and their wonderkid pitcher. If the kid is really as good as everyone said he is, he will be a great #3 pitcher this year and maybe next year too. It isn't like he is being asking to be the #1 starting pitcher on Saturday...

at 6:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Homer pitch in Columbus and if he pitches the same way in the Majors the kid is going to get hit and hit hard. He has a good (not great) fastball but little else. As a former Scout I tell you this kid is not ready for the big leagues yet and I hope this does not destroy this kids future. I REALLY hope I'm wrong and he is lights out. I guess we will all see Friday. GOOD LUCK HOMER!!

at 6:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course he is ready! Look at the Mariners and their wonderkid pitcher."

Exactly, that "wonderkid" is the same age as Homer and pitched 191 innings in the majors last season. So far this season, he has battled an elbow injury and now a back injury, and with the exception of his first two starts, has been mediocre.

at 9:45 PM Anonymous Sedi said...

I think Homer said it best himself..Come up and see what he can do, get his feet wet and if they need him at later date, they can call upon him.

Not that I wouldn't like to see him stay up here, that means someone from the starting 5 has to go, and frankly based on price and if Belisle/Lohse continue to pitch well (consistently), there's no need for him up here, I suspect he's only here for 2 starts then back down.

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