FEBRUARY 13: Bailey is hoping to be ready for a return by around the first of June, he tells C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The righty stressed that he does not have any broader elbow concerns beyond the bone spurs that were removed.
“I knew it wasn’t the other stuff,” he said. “I went through all that, I wasn’t feeling pain where the ligament did, where the tendon did, it was in a bunch of different places. It was mainly due to the elbow swelling. … It’s nice to have some answers.”
FEBRUARY 8: Reds right-hander Homer Bailey underwent surgery today to remove bone spurs from his right elbow, as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Bailey will be shut down from throwing for the next four to six weeks and is likely to begin the season on the disabled list.
For Bailey, the setback is the latest in what has been a cavalcade of injuries since signing a six-year contract extension with the Reds. Bailey inked his $105MM contract prior to the 2014 season and pitched well for much of the year, but that campaign was halted by a strained flexor mass in his right arm. The 2015 season brought even worse news, as Bailey suffered ligament damage in April that ultimately led to Tommy John surgery the following month. He missed the vast majority of the 2016 season recovering from that procedure as well.
All told, Bailey has been limited to just 34 1/3 innings over the past two seasons combined, and he’s thrown a total of 180 innings since signing the aforementioned six-year deal. While this latest setback will obviously delay his 2017 debut, the Reds can only hope that it’ll prove to be only a minor hindrance in an otherwise healthy season. Bailey is still owed a total of $68MM over the next three seasons.
In the short-term, the latest Bailey injury could open the door for one of the Reds’ many encouraging young arms to break camp with the team. As it stands, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan and veteran Scott Feldman (an offseason addition) appear locks to make the Reds’ Opening Day rotation. Others in competition for the fourth and fifth spots will include Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, Tim Adleman and Rookie Davis. Each of Stephenson, Garrett and Reed currently rank or have ranked among the game’s Top 100 prospects in the past calendar year, although Reed’s struggles in his 2016 debut have caused his stock to slip somewhat.