Reds starter Homer Bailey will undergo surgery tomorrow on his right forearm to repair a flexor mass tendon tear, the club announced on Twitter. He is expected to be ready in time for the spring, according to a report from C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who says the injury has been deemed a similar but less-severe version of that which afflicted what recently-dealt reliever Jonathan Broxton.
Needless to say, this is not how the 28-year-old — and, even less so, his team — hoped to see this season end. Bailey inked a six-year, $105MM extension before the 2014 campaign, a significant investment for a mid-market club that has already locked up several core players and had to choose carefully in making commitments to its best arms.
After a rough start to 2014, Bailey had settled in and begun to produce at the level that was expected when he inked his new deal. On the year, he owns a 3.71 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 to go with a career-best 50.6% groundball rate.
While any arm surgery is cause for concern for a pitcher, this particular injury and procedure do not appear to be as momentous as a UCL replacement. (If Bailey is expected to be prepared for the start of Spring Training, that would imply a recovery time of not more than six months.) Of course, forearm issues can be precursors to more serious injuries to the elbow and shoulder, so Cincinnati will surely handle its high-priced starter with care.