After missing most of the last two seasons due to Tommy John elbow surgery, Homer Bailey's 2017 campaign was delayed by three months when he needed surgery to remove bone spurs at the onset of spring training. When he finally came back, the results on the mound were pretty gruesome, highlighted by five starts where he gave up six or more runs, including a 10-run torching by the Cardinals. He ultimately finished with a 6.43 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. If you're looking for any signs of progress, he carried a 3.89 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over his last six starts. Bailey's fastball was not a positive pitch (11 runs below average), and his slider -- usually his out pitch -- also brought below-average results (5.6 runs below average). He's signed through the 2019 season, so the Reds will keep giving him chances to right the ship, at least as long as their younger alternatives appear not to be ready. Luckily you won't have those same constraints.
Bailey was officially named as the Reds' Opening Day starter, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Bailey will take the mound against the Nationals on Thursday to begin the 2018 campaign. Over 18 starts in 2017, he posted a 6.43 ERA and 1.69 WHIP with a 67:42 K:BB.
Though the Reds are reticent to name an official Opening Day starter, they are leaning toward Bailey, John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The Reds have been burned a little by injury in the past after naming a pitcher as their guy on Opening Day, so that might explain why they haven't been willing to tab anyone officially.
Bailey really struggled against the White Sox on Wednesday, allowing six runs on seven hits over three innings. He struck out only one, and allowed two homers. A mitigating factor in Bailey's outing is that nearly everyone got hit hard in a 14-12 game, suggesting that the park and weather conditions had a big impact in the result.
Bailey enters spring training healthy and looks to rebound in 2018, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Bailey will be one of Cincinnati's top pitchers within the rotation this season, provided he stays healthy. He had a down year in 2017 after undergoing surgery during spring training and ended up finishing with a 6.43 ERA through 18 starts. The 31-year-old right-hander has struggled to stay healthy since signing a huge $105 million contract, but comes into spring training healthy and hopes to right the ship in 2018.
Bailey (5-9) allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three batters through only three innings to take the loss to St. Louis on Thursday. Bailey has flashed signs this season and allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his 17 starts. However, there have also been too many poor showings, and the 31-year-old righty sports a 6.96 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and 6.8 K/9 for the campaign. His inconsistency has been a fantasy nightmare, and his year-long numbers don't move the needle in any setting. Bailey lines up to make one more start against the Brewers at Miller Park.