Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey has seen his right elbow operated on several times and it just happened again. The club announced Wednesday that Bailey has had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow to remove bone spurs. He is expected to begin throwing again in four to six weeks and begin the season on the disabled list.
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Bailey experienced discomfort while increasing his throwing workload in preparation for spring training. Followup exams indicated the UCL and flexor mass are healthy. However, small bone spurs were discovered and the decision was made to remove them as soon as possible.
So the good news are the ulnar-collateral ligament and flexor mass aren't injured. Bailey had flexor mass surgery in 2014 and Tommy John surgery in 2015 to repair the UCL.
On the down side, man, what a gut punch to Bailey and the Reds. He just can't get his elbow completely healthy.
Since the 2014 surgery, Bailey only has been able to make eight starts, pitching to a 6.29 ERA. In his return from Tommy John surgery last season, Bailey was shut down after six starts due to elbow discomfort.
From 2012-14, Bailey was 33-27 with a 3.61 ERA (107 ERA+), 1.19 WHIP and worked over 200 innings in each 2012 and 2013. The Reds were confident enough in Bailey's growth after the 2013 season that he was given a six-year, $105 million extension in February of 2014.
With Bailey's injuries, the news only gets worse by pointing out that Bailey's deal is back-loaded. He's set to make $19 million this season, $21 million next season and $23 million in 2019.
Without Bailey, the Reds will open the season with Anthony DeSclafani, Scott Feldman and Brandon Finnegan while the final two spots will be filled from the likes of Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Tim Adleman, Austin Brice and possibly a returning Bronson Arroyo.