Tag:Homer Bailey
Posted on: October 2, 2010 2:58 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 9:12 pm

Could be sad end for Harang in Cincy

Aaron Harang
The Reds are finally headed for the playoffs, but the man who's been in a Cincinnati uniform the longest might not be part of the picture.

Aaron Harang has been with the Reds since 2003 and has been the Opening Day starter the past five years. He's active in the community and well-liked by teammates and fans alike. But designating a playoff roster is cutthroat business, and it looks like there might be no room for the 32-year-old.

"I haven't heard anything," Harang told MLB.com. "There's nothing I can really do about it. It's up to Dusty [Baker], Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty to figure out the best possible players to take. ... Of course I want to be in there, and be on the field participating and helping out."

Harang made 19 starts this season, but lost his rotation spot in early September and has appeared just twice in relief since. He suffered a bruise when he took a line drive off his ankle in his last appearance September 22, but says he's fine to play.

His 6-7 record and 5.25 ERA, however, don't seem to make him a good candidate for the Reds' postseason roster, which will probably carry 11 pitchers. For the rotation, the Reds haven't announced who they'll take -- they have to choose from among Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and Travis Wood.

Not only is this likely the end of Harang's season, it's also probably the end of his time with the Reds. He has a $12.75 million club option for 2011 that won't be picked up, and the Reds are flush with other pitching options going forward.

Harang deserves better, but baseball is a business, and Reds have to give themselves the best possible chance to win.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 29, 2010 3:01 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 6:45 am

Video: Reds celebrate NL Central title

Edions Volquez It was a rookie mistake, I realized. I'd remembered to wear my rain jacket in the Reds clubhouse after Jay Bruce's homer clinched the team's first division title in 15 years, but I forgot to put my hood up.

I heard Homer Bailey before I saw him, and he doused me with champagne -- the hood would have served as protection and camouflage. Instead, it was useless and I was drenched.

Any baseball writer worth his salt knows to prepare for the celebration. It looks fun -- and it kinda is -- but it makes the usual game-writing impossible. It's tough to talk to players, who are more interested in dousing teammates with alcoholic beverages than talking to reporters. And when they do talk, they're constantly interrupted by liquid being poured over their heads. Still, it's pretty fun to see.

It was nice to see Aaron Harang, who is having a terrible season and is unlikely to be a part of the postseason roster, enjoying himself. It's a team game, and it's more noticeable than anywhere as Harang celebrates as much as the hero, Bruce.

You could see the joy the players got in dousing manager Dusty Baker, who despite his critics, rarely has any in his own clubhouse. Brandon Phillips had never tasted alcohol until he had beer and champagne poured over him -- and at one point you could tell he didn't feel like he'd be tasting another Budweiser anytime soon as he spit out what got into his mouth.

After finishing off the champagne, veteran reliever Arthur Rhodes led the troops out onto the field to celebrate with the thousands that stayed in the stadium to celebrate. Jonny Gomes -- who celebrated with the 2008 Rays -- sprayed fans with champagne as he wore his ski goggles.

Players took a lap, high-fiving fans anywhere near the fence. One woman stole Bruce's hat before he pulled it back.

Phillips thanked the fans on the microphone, then passed it to Joey Votto as fans chanted "M-V-P" for  the first baseman, who hugged the night's hero before passing Bruce the mic. Bruce then addressed the crowd.

Owner Bob Castellini, wearing a Reds pullover and track pants over his regular clothes to keep from stinking of champagne and beer, handed Orlando Cabrera a box of cigars. Weeks ago, Castellini told Cabrera he'd give him a box of the "best legal cigars in the U.S." -- and he paid off with a box of Liga Privada No. 9 cigars. Cabrera then handed out the cigars to anyone close and also used a torch to light them for anyone who wanted one.

Finally, as TV cameras continued to interview just about anyone in uniform, Castellini saw general manager Walt Jocketty and gave him a hug. Castellini promised to bring Cincinnati a winner four years ago when he bought the team, and he finally had.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:34 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 1:18 am

Bruce delivers walk-off clincher

Jay Bruce CINCINNATI -- I've done it, you've done it. Your team is tied in the ninth and a title is on the line -- everyone dreams of the home run.

Jay Bruce didn't. Or at least he said he hadn't. Until he did it.

On the first pitch he saw from left-hander Tim Byrdak in the ninth inning of a tie game on Tuesday, Bruce hit a solo homer, giving the Cincinnati Reds a 3-2 victory, the National League Central title and their first playoff appearance since 1995.

"I've never even dreamt about this, this is unbelievable," Bruce said.

Bruce entered the at-bat 0 for 3 on the game and 1 for 20 against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez. It was odd to even see Bruce's name in the lineup against Rodriguez, yet he said he and manager Dusty Baker had talked about it. Baker had faith in the young outfielder.

Bruce did have two hits in six career at-bats against Byrdak, including a homer, so it wasn't too much a stretch to leave him in. He's also improved his average to .260 against lefties this season coming into the game, bettering his career mark of .222.

"I've made big strides against left-handers this year, but I'm not done yet," Bruce said. "I've had ups and downs as a player and this isn't going to be what I am as a player. I expect much better out of myself, but this is only the beginning."

Bruce was called up two years ago to great expectations and has shown flashes of fulfilling his promise as the game's top prospect, but struggled with consistency. Even so, at the age of 23, he already has 65 career home runs -- and none bigger than his 65th.

Bruce knew it immediately -- reliever Nick Masset said he knew before that, calling the shot before the top of the ninth started. In the dugout, starter Homer Bailey said everyone knew the team would win Tuesday to clinch the division, it was just a matter of when. Bruce had barely dropped his bat when he raised his right arm -- "I had a pretty good feeling. Who knows what would have happened had it not gone out," Bruce said.

On deck, Ramon Hernandez was not so sure, he knew Bruce hit it hard, but he worried that he hit it to the exact wrong part of the park -- center field. "I was blowing it out," Hernandez said.

He hadn't need to waste the effort, the breath -- the ball bounced off the batter's eye and Bruce raced around the bases.

"I saw all my guys I'd been working so hard with every single day of the year. I wouldn't be here without my guys," Bruce said afterwards on the field after taking a victory lap with his teammates.

Bruce said he wasn't trying to end the game, he just wanted to hit the ball hard -- get on base and let someone knock him in. Instead, he did it all himself.

"It was unbelievable," Bruce said. "This is the perfect description. Unbelievable ."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 12:13 am
Edited on: September 16, 2010 12:14 am

Dizziness forces Reds' Bailey from game

Homer Bailey
Hopefully for the Reds, a new hat will be all it takes to get Homer Bailey back on track.

The right-hander was removed from his start Wednesday after complaining of feeling dizzy. He said his first few warmup pitches didn't even reach the plate and he felt off all night. His fastball averaged under 90 mph, when it usually sits around 93. He was all over the place, walking five, striking out five and needing 83 pitches to get through three innings.

"I had a real big headache and stuff," Bailey told reporters after the game. "I thought maybe my hat was a little too tight or something. I went out there and was kind of dizzy and a little off balance and stuff. How many walks was it, 20? That hasn't been my game here of late. I was having trouble just staying balanced and stuff."

Bailey said he was checked out by the medical staff and was told to get some rest and see if he feels better.

Bailey is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA in 15 starts this season for the Reds.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 31, 2010 12:14 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 10:16 am

Brewers' Wolf achieves franchise first

Randy Wolf It's not every day there's a "first time in franchise history" when it comes to Major League Baseball.

It's even more rare when it's not one of the new franchises, i.e. Diamondbacks, Rays, Marlins or Rockies.

Monday's franchise first came from the Milwaukee Brewers. In the third inning of the team's game in Cincinnati, Randy Wolf became the first Brewers pitcher to steal a base in the franchise's history.

Even though the Brewers played in the American League until 1998, they still played in the AL pre-designated hitter.

Wolf stole a base last year for the Dodgers. His stolen base Monday even came off one of the better throwing catchers in the National Leagues, Ryan Hanigan. However, it was more off of pitcher Homer Bailey, who does not hold runners on well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 6:38 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 6:39 pm

Reds keeping rotation options open

The Reds are keeping their postseason rotation options open, placing rookie Mike Leake on the 15-day disabled list with "rigt shoulder fatigue" while keeping the door open on veteran Aaron Harang returning to the rotation.

Harang is penciled in as the starter for next Tuesday's game against Milwaukee, manager Dusty Baker said (though Homer Bailey is currently on the team's probables for Tuesday). Harang has been on the disabled list since July six with lower back problems. He made two starts in Triple-A with less-than successful results.

Still, Harang said he feels fine and dismissed his ugly stats -- two starts, 11 innings, 14 hits, 11 earned runs. He did strike out 10, while walking only two (and hitting a batter).

"You go down there and anything around the strike zone they're swinging," Harang said. "I went down there and worked on working my endurance up. It's the same thing that's been in the past, you go down there and talk to any big league pitcher, it's one of those things they'll all say the same thing."

Baker noted he never pays attention t those results either, especially with veteran pitchers against inexperienced batters -- "you can't set up someone who doesn't know they're being set up."

Aaron Harang There had been speculation that Harang would spend September as a long man out of the bullpen -- hardly something you want out of a guy making $12.5 million this season. Harang is 6-7 with a 5.02 ERA in 17 starts this season. Harang said he's going about his business today as if it's the day after a start, so he'll be on his routine for a start against the Brewers.

Whatever role Harang does find himself in, it'll likely be his final stint in a Reds uniform. There's little doubt the team will buyout the $12.75 million option for 2011.

Leake, on the other hand, hopes to have a long future ahead in Cincinnati. The team considered shutting the rookie down for the season, but the Reds went ahead and put him not he DL Friday in hopes of having him return when he is eligible on Sept. 9, perhaps in the rotation, but more likely as a long reliever and possible pinch-hitter.

"We think it's better to do this now," Baker said. "He'd still be eligible for the playoffs."

Leake made 22 starts this season, going 7-4 with a 2.22 ERA in his first 11 and 5-6 with a 5.60 ERA in his second 11. He was also ineffective out of the bullpen in two appearances, allowing eight earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Baker said the team will concentrate on Leake's fitness level and building his strength back up from the grind of a full season. Leake threw 138 1/3 innings, about the same workload he had last year at Arizona State (142 innings), but on a shorter schedule of the five-man rotation instead of once a week.

"We did the same thing with Homer (Bailey) and look at how he's come back," Baker said.

The team does have Sam LeCure on the current roster (although it's to be seen if he'll be here on Aug. 31) and Matt Maloney in the minor leagues, both of whom have pitched well as starters for the Reds this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 13, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 5:33 pm

Cueto won't appeal; Bailey off DL

Homer Bailey
Reds starter Johnny Cueto won't appeal his seven-game suspension stemming from this week's fight against the Cardinals, and Homer Baily will come off the disabled list to take his scheduled start Sunday against the Marlins.

Manager Dusty Baker seemed to be sending a message through comments to reporters that Cueto should not regard the suspension as a vacation.

"With our pitching situation, the way things line up, it will be better if he misses one start and he'll have one extra day from [when] ordinarily he would start," Baker said. "So maybe this will make him even better and stronger. He can train, train and more train."

Bailey (pictured being greeted by Mister Redlegs), the promising right-hander whose career has gotten off the a frustrating start, has been on the disabled list since late May with shoulder inflammation. He has looked good in four rehab appearances (three starts), going 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA.

Cueto's suspension will buy struggling rookie Mike Leake another start Saturday after a bad stretch had the Reds considering taking him out of the rotation. For a while it looked like Bailey would have to come back from the DL as a reliever, then it looked like the Reds were lining him up to replace Leake. The Reds will be watching both Leake and Bailey closely this weekend.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 9, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 1:02 pm

Reds may remove Leake from rotation

Mike Leake UPDATE, 8/10, 1 p.m. : Homer Bailey has been scratched from his Triple-A start on Tuesday and will pitch in relief instead, lining him up to take Leake's spot in the rotation Friday, reports the Cincinatti Enquirer . -- Evan Brunell

Early in the season Mike Leake was one of the great stories in baseball -- a kid who skipped the minor leagues entirely and came into the big leagues dealing.

In his first 11 starts, Leake was 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA.

Now in his last 10, he's 2-4 with a 5.72 ERA, including the shortest outing of his short career on Monday, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing six earned runs and seven total runs against the Cardinals. It was the second consecutive start that's seen him give up seven runs.

The Reds are now worried the rookie has hit a wall and may take him out of the rotation, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes .

"We discussed it," Baker told reporters after Monday's 7-3 loss. "He had a big inning in Pittsburgh, but [that was] led to by a couple of different things -- a hit batsman and a potential play on the groundball. We've got to discuss it and talk some more.

"I'm sure this will be a topic of discussion, possibly tomorrow."

Before Monday's game, the Reds optioned their other rookie starter, Travis Wood, to Triple-A Louisville. With two off days for the Reds in the next week, Wood wasn't scheduled to start again until Aug. 18 in Arizona, but will now start the next day against the Diamondbacks. (Interestingly enough, Wood and Leake have pretty similar numbers through eight starts -- Wood is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA and a .238 opponents batting average, 40 strikeouts and 13 walks. Through eight starts, Leake was 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA a .218 batting average against, 39 strikeouts and 21 walks.)

Homer Bailey is likely ready to replace Leake in the rotation if the Reds need him. The 24-year old has made four rehab starts in the minor leagues and is scheduled to make his fourth at Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. In three starts at Louisville, he's gone 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA, allowing five earned runs in 18 innings, striking out 15 and walking four, while allowing 15 hits. Bailey was on the disabled list with a  shoulder injury. In nine starts this season, Bailey is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA.

The Reds do have some flexibility with their rotation because of a day off on Thursday, as well as next Monday. They also have a couple of other starters in the minors who have had success in the big leagues this year in Sam LeCure and Matt Maloney.

For his part, Leake has now thrown 129 2/3 innings. He threw 142 at Arizona State last season and the Reds have been skipping his starts on off days to help keep his innings down. For his part, Leake told Fay he felt fine.

"I feel great," Leake said. "I've just hit a rough patch."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

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