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Tag:Homer Bailey
Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 11:31 am
 

On Deck: Matinee day features Cliff Lee

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


LeeBaileyQUICK TURNAROUND: The Reds and Phillies finished their 19-inning duel at 1:19 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. Less than 12 hours later, both teams will be back at it. It's a good thing, then, that both teams have good starters going, so they should be able to quickly zip through tired batters. Cliff Lee will look to give Philly three of four in the series while the Reds have lost six of seven and are now in third place, 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. Homer Bailey, meanwhile, has a 2.08 ERA in four starts on the year and will hope to keep his breakout season going. He had a tough-luck loss last time out, falling to the Indians despite taking a one-hitter into the seventh. Reds at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. ET

A'sAngelsFIRST PLACE: With the Rangers off, the Angels have a chance to draw into a tie for the AL West at just 1/2 game back of Texas. Standing in their way are the Athletics, who are looking to reverse their fortunes and avoid dropping any further in the standings. Joel Pineiro will attempt to win No. 100 for his career in his third attempt at the milestone. Oakland's Brett Anderson, meanwhile, is looking to snap an 0-3, 5.04 ERA skid in his last five starts but will need the moribund office to come awake. With a victory, the A's will split the four-game series but with one of the worst hitting attacks in the majors and a solid pitcher in Pineiro on the mound, it won't be easy. Athletics at Angels, 3:35 p.m. ET

PoseyGET BACK ON THE HORSE: A game after losing Buster Posey for quite some time, the Giants will attempt to shake off the extra-inning loss to the Marlins and will offer up Ryan Vogelsong on the mound. Vogelsong, who had not pitched in the majors since 2006, somehow has a 3-0 record and 1.93 ERA in 32 2/3 innings. Florida, who has one extra win on the year, will counter with Anibal Sanchez, who hasn't lost since April 10, posting a 2.14 ERA in seven starts since. San Francisco may be in for a long day, as both Mike Fontenot and Posey figure to be out of the lineup. Combine that with the poor play of Aubrey Huff and Miguel Tejada, and the lineup may not even be able to outscore the Twins. Marlins at Giants, 3:45 p.m. ET

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Posted on: May 16, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 10:12 pm
 

On Deck: Something's gotta give

Giants
OD

By Matt Snyder


In a stat that may only interest me, Monday night features six games pitting teams against each other that have either won or lost at least two games, meaning even modest "streaks" are going to be broken. The Padres-Diamondbacks, for example, isn't overly exciting just because both teams have won two straight games. The Phillies-Cardinals game (Phils have dropped two straight, the Cardinals three) is a nice match, but not because of the modest losing streaks. The Yankees (lost five straight) and Rays (lost two straight) is a big series because they're the top two teams in the very tight AL East. There are, however, two pretty extreme "something's gotta give" examples -- one on each end of the spectrum.

STREAK-BREAKERS, WINNING EDITION: The Blue Jays have won five in a row. The only team with a longer current winning streak is the Tigers, their foe Monday night in Detroit. The Tigers bring in a seven-game winning streak that has brought them to within 3 1/2 games of the surprising Indians, who sport the best record in baseball. Taking the hill for the Tigers is Max Scherzer, who is 6-0 with a 3.20 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings thus far in 2011. He'll have the task of dealing with the hot-swinging Blue Jays' lineup, specifically Jose Bautista. Bautista is pretty clearly the best hitter in baseball right now, and it's not even close. He leads the majors in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, walks and home runs. His .368 batting average is tops in the AL and his 284 OPS-plus is insane. His three-homer game Sunday was yet another exclamation point. Toronto at Detroit, WATCH LIVE SCORING.

STREAK-BREAKERS, LOSING EDITION: The Mariners have lost six games in a row. Fortunately for them, they don't have the longest streak of futility in the majors at present, because the Twins have lost eight straight. Late Monday night, the two last-place teams will square off in Safeco Field, and the good news is someone has to win. Surprisingly enough, it's actually a good pitching matchup. Scott Baker (2-2, 3.71) was roughed up last time out, but had a 1.59 ERA in his previous four starts and is striking out batters at a pretty high rate. Michael Pineda (4-2, 2.84) has been much better, though. He's struck out 45 in his 44 1/3 innings as a rookie and looks every bit the future ace he was projected to be. Considering the two offenses are the lowest scoring in the AL, this one could be a quickie. Minnesota at Seattle, WATCH LIVE SCORING.

UNDERRATED PITCHING MATCHUP: At first glance, Carlos Zambrano vs. Homer Bailey isn't an elite duel. Bailey (2-0, 0.69) brings in a hot start and is still young enough to be reaching a ceiling many thought was that of a top-of-the-line ace earlier in his development. Zambrano (4-1, 4.35) is actually 4-0 on the road this season and has a really good track record against the Reds and in Great American Ball Park. He owns Scott Rolen (.229 OBP in 48 plate appearances) and has had good success against Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce. Zambrano's career line at GABP is 9-2 with a 2.90 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 87 innings. Oh, he also has three home runs and an. 804 OPS in 39 career plate appearances at GABP. Chicago (NL) at Cincinnati, WATCH LIVE SCORING.

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Posted on: May 11, 2011 10:35 am
 

Has dominant Bailey finally arrived?

By Matt Snyder

Homer Bailey had made just two starts since coming off the disabled list this season, but he's been utterly dominant. He's thrown 13 innings and allowed only 10 baserunners (0.77 WHIP) one run (0.69 ERA) while striking out 12 and picking up wins in both.

It could simply be Bailey coming into his own as a top-flight starting pitcher.

Remember, he was the top pitching prospect in the Reds' system for a handful of years. He was a first-round draft pick out of high school in 2004 and worked his way into the top-10 prospect lists (for all of baseball, not just the Reds' system) by 2007.

Based on some success in the minors, a necessity in the Reds' rotation and Bailey's immense potential, he was promoted to the major leagues at age 21. Maybe it was too early, because in the next two seasons he would get 17 starts and come through them with a 6.72 ERA and 1.80 WHIP.

He graduated from the bad and moved into the mediocre the next two years, as his 2009-10 line shows a 4.49 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 39 starts. He did show marked improvement in several areas in 2010 -- namely strikeout rate rising and walk rate dwindling.

Still, it didn't feel like Bailey was coming along fast enough. Much like Alex Gordon for the Royals, it was too long between hearing about how great Bailey was going to be and then seeing any flashes of it. Just don't forget that Homer's 25th birthday was last week.

He's refined his pitches and continues to improve his control. So it's very possible 2011 is the breakout season for Homer Bailey.

One mitigating factor for many thus far is that Bailey has only faced the Astros. The same Astros that are 13-23 and in last place in a weak NL Central. If we're judging the teams based upon what we've seen so far this season, though, the Astros are actually seventh in the NL in runs, fourth in batting average and eighth in on-base percenage. So while they aren't exactly the Yankees, the Astros' offense isn't the Padres, either. Bailey's next outing is against the Cubs, who have a very high average and OBP but have had trouble scoring runs. If he dominates again, the confidence starts to build that his breakout season is here and that only helps guys continue the pace.

If he does, the Reds' chances of winning the Central again just got that much better.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 6, 2011 9:06 pm
 

Behind slider, Homer Bailey marks return to bigs

By Evan Brunell

BaileyHomer Bailey has long been tantalizing the Reds with the potential that saw him drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft. Injury and poor command have sapped his ceiling, but he showed encouraging progress last season in 19 starts and may be primed for a major leap forward after dominating the Astros on Thursday.

"He’s had spurts of dominance throughout his career," catcher Ryan Hanigan told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It’s just a matter of consistency. He’s such a competitor. He wants it bad. He works at it as hard anybody. He’s got the stuff to do it."

He had the stuff Thursday as he shut down the 'Stros for six innings, whiffing seven and walking just one while giving up one run on four hits.

"Homer changed speeds well," Hanigan added. "He didn’t fall into any patterns. That’s what happened in the past. We talked about it before the game. He was throwing all his pitches for strikes. When he needed pitches, he made them. He made pitches down in the zone to get groundballs. He did a great job."

Bailey flashed an interesting trend, tossing 31 sliders for a 32.6 percent usage rate, far above his 11.6 percent rate in 2010 and 9.5 percent career rate. While that may prove a harbinger of things to come, it may only be temporary. Sometimes pitchers just simply click for one start and the hot hand is ridden. It doesn't appear as if the 25-year-old made any adjustments to his slider usage during his rehab starts as he admitted the frequency in which he tossed sliders were unique.

"I threw more sliders than I’ve ever thrown in my life," Bailey said. "I had that working pretty good. Pretty much we were in a good counts. There were only a few batters we fell behind. When you’re ahead in the count good things are going to happen."

The Reds have no shortage of starting pitchers, even converting some to relief, but lack one true top-end starter. Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto have the talent, but haven't put it all together just yet. If Bailey keeps on improving, he could be the one to emerge as the ace.

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Category: MLB
Tags: Homer Bailey
 
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:09 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 8:53 pm
 

Mike Leake could excel in long relief role

Leake

By Evan Brunell

Mike Leake was bumped from the rotation to the bullpen several days ago to make way for Johnny Cueto's return to the rotation Sunday. Cueto is finally over his injury troubles and coupled with Homer Bailey's own return to the staff has created some recent roster shuffling as the Reds try to get the rotation into gear. Until then, Baker's happy to have both Leake and Sam LeCure as long relievers.

"We were going to start the season with [Leake] as the long man and my sixth starter -- don't send him out to the Minor Leagues yet," Baker told MLB.com. "That's why we sent [Matt] Maloney down to get stretched out. The way my starters have been going, I've got him and [Sam] LeCure. I've got two long guys, which is what we need right now. Once they [in the rotation] start humming again, we'll deal with that when they get there. We've got to start humming first."

Baker feels as if Leake could be quite a find in the bullpen despite giving up eight earned runs in 2 2/3 innings last season in his stints as a reliever near the end of the year when Cincinnati was trying to manage the righty's innings. However, Baker brings up some good points as to why Leake may be ready to succeed as a long man.

"I think he'll be a very good long man. He stays in shape. He comes in, he throws strikes. He's keeping the ball down to get double plays," Baker said. "I don't have to hit for him if he comes up like you do a lot of relievers, because he can hit. Therefore, he can extend that part of my bullpen out, unlike a lot of guys.

"In the second half [of last year] and this year, he's had a little trouble with the lineup about the third time around. To me, that equals, in theory, a perfect long man."

Baker's right. A perfect long man would be someone who can chew up innings, and what better than someone who keeps the game moving by throwing strikes. The ability to have Leake stay in the lineup when he comes up to bat is a big one and will do nothing but improve his chances of staying on the mound.

But is Baker right about Leake struggling with the lineup the third time around? 

Absolutely.

The first time around the order, Leake performs impressively, giving up an opponent batting line of .255/.310/.385. He keeps up the good times the second time through, actually limiting batters to less extra-base hits but also coughing up more walks for a .253/.333/.382 line. But then the wheels fall off, with a .324/.365/.500 mark his third time through. You don't want to see the numbers for the fourth-plus time through.

Cincinnati has eyes on winning the division, so needs to maximize the contributions of every player on the staff. With that in mind, Leake does appear to be a great option as a long reliever and sixth starter who can step into the rotation in a pinch, allowing the Reds to avoid making a quick roster transaction. But it's not the best use of his abilities as Leake must figure out a way to limit batters turning into Robinson Cano. He can't do that without practice.

That's why, while Leake may be a better pitcher than Sam LeCure, he could find himself optioned to Triple-A once Baker and the Reds feel comfortable with the rotation. That will allow Leake to get stretched back out as insurance and also enable him to work on his issues the third time through the order.

 

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 1:38 am
Edited on: May 4, 2011 1:45 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Liriano's no-no

Francisco Liriano
By C. Trent Rosecrans

3UP

Francisco Liriano, Twins -- I'm making a new rule here, you throw a no-hitter, you get in 3 up, 3 down. I'm sure Francisco appreciates it. A tip of the cap to White Sox starter Edwin Jackson, who was pretty good, too. Jackson gave up one run on six hits in eight innings.

Daniel Descalso, Cardinals -- The infielder's first career homer, a three-run shot off of Clay Hensley in the seventh inning, gave the Cardinals the lead, and ultimately the 7-5 victory over the Marlins. Descalso was 2 for 3, playing second and third in the game.

Raul Ibanez, Phillies -- Ibanez snapped an 0-for-35 streak with a fourth-inning ground-rule double off of the Nationals' Livan Hernandez. He added another double in the seventh inning that scored a run in the Phillies' 4-1 victory. He's now hitting a robust .168.

3DOWN

Mike Leake, Reds -- After Tuesday night's performance, the Reds announce Leake would be headed to the bullpen to make room for Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey to return to the rotation. Leake allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings in a 10-4 loss to the Astros, but he did strike out five in that short time.

Rangers bullpen -- The Rangers' Pedro Strop gave up leads in the seventh and eighth inning as the Rangers lost in an opponent's final at-bat for the sixth time this season and second time in a row, also losing to the A's in the 10th inning on Monday. Darren Oliver allowed Hideki Matsui's walkoff on Monday, and gave up an RBI single to Jack Cust on Tuesday to score the winning run (even though it was charged to Strop). Neftali Feliz is scheduled to return soon, and it won't be too soon for the Rangers.

Josh Thole, Mets -- With bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, the Mets catcher did the one thing his team couldn't afford him to do -- ground into a double play. The Mets then lost the game in the 10th on Aubrey Huff's homer off of Taylor Buchholz. Thole also had a throwing error in the fourth inning the helped lead to a Giants' run.

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 12:27 am
Edited on: May 4, 2011 12:27 am
 

NL Central rotations returning to normal

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Homer BaileyThe National League Central is slowly getting its pitchers back.

Milwaukee will get its first chance to see former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke in the second game of the team's double header in Atlanta on Wednesday, while the Reds announced Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto will return to the rotation this week.

Bailey, pictured, returns on Thursday, while Johnny Cueto will start Sunday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Cincinnati had planned on giving Cueto another rehab start before activating him from the disable list, but Mike Leake's clunker on Tuesday may have sped up Cueto's timetable.

Leake allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Astros on Tuesday and will likely be moved to the bullpen to serve as the long reliever, with Sam LeCure headed to Louisville in time for the Kentucky Derby.

"Coming out of spring training, [Leake] was going to be our long guy," Baker told reporters, including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He performed well in those other guys' absence. Tonight was the first time he got whacked around in a while."

Bailey has looked good in his rehab starts, starting three games and allowing just one run on 11 hits in 16 2/3 innings, while striking out 14 and walking four. Cueto's made four starts for Triple-A Louisville, going 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs (12 total) on 19 hits in 14 1/3 innings, striking out 13 and walking six.

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Posted on: April 5, 2011 5:43 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:51 am
 

Bailey, Cueto improving for Reds

By Matt Snyder

The Cincinnati Reds with 40 percent of their expected rotation on the disabled list, in Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey. They've started 3-0 after sweeping the Brewers and now the news gets even better, as both Cueto and Bailey are on track to return soon. Both are reportedly pain-free and feeling ready, it's just a matter of working them into major-league form.

"They're ready to go as far as arm strength," pitching coach Bryan Price said. "But this early in the season, you don't want to push it." (Cincinnati.com )

Cueto finished a 37-pitch bullpen Tuesday and will next throw two innings in a minor-league game.

Bailey threw long toss Tuesday and is targeting bullpens on Saturday and then again either Monday or Tuesday next week. The Reds have said he'll throw a minor-league game April 14.

Cueto, 25, was 12-7 with a 3.64 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 185 2/3 innings last season.

Bailey, 24, was 4-3 with a 4.46 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 19 starts last year.

With both healthy and getting closer to their full potential, the Reds figure to have one of the better 1-5 rotations in the league.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com