TODAY: Bailey will indeed move into the relief unit, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon tweets.
YESTERDAY: The Reds have had discussions with right-hander Homer Bailey about a potential shift from the rotation to the bullpen, per John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter links). While nothing has been finalized, Fay characterizes the move as a fairly likely one. Righty Luis Castillo would be able to make a start on regular rest in Bailey’s place this Sunday thanks to an upcoming off-day on Thursday.
Bailey’s six-year, $105MM contract extension with the Reds has proven to be a regrettable misstep for the organization, as the righty underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and a second elbow surgery to remove bone spurs in 2017. In all, he’s been limited to just 187 1/3 innings dating back to the 2015 season. In that time, he’s averaged fewer than five innings per start while recording a 6.59 ERA and allowing a .310/.384/.511 batting line to opposing hitters. The 2018 campaign has arguably been his worst, as he currently leads the Majors in allowing hits, home runs and earned runs.
While it seems fair to question just how much of a leash Bailey has left with regard to hanging onto his roster spot, the fact that the team is exploring a move to a relief role suggests that he won’t be cut loose just yet. Bailey is still owed a whopping $14MM of this season’s $21MM salary, plus a $23MM salary in 2019 and a $5MM buyout on an option for the 2020 campaign. Given that hefty $42MM sum, it’s hardly a surprise that the Reds would exhaust their options in terms of salvaging some kind of value from the ill-fated deal.
In the meantime, a move of Bailey to the bullpen would create an opening in the rotation behind Castillo, Matt Harvey, Tyler Mahle and Sal Romano. That spot could be earmarked for right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who is on a minor league rehab assignment at the moment and is nearing a return to the Majors for the first time since 2016. A sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm prevented DeSclafani from taking the hill last season, and he’s yet to pitch in the bigs this year thanks to an oblique strain.
[Related: Cincinnati Reds depth chart]
Of course, the rest of the Reds’ rotation isn’t exactly stable in its own right. Castillo has shown signs of rebounding after a rough start, but Harvey is still a ways from cementing himself as a viable big league rotation option just yet. Mahle and Romano have each had their own struggles as well, particularly the latter of the two. Certainly, further juggling of the rotation down the stretch is a possibility, as the Reds have several alternatives in the minors — many of whom are already on the 40-man roster.
Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Brandon Finnegan, Jose Lopez and Keury Mella are the top names in that group, though only Mella has posted particularly strong numbers, and he’s registered those while pitching in Double-A. (The others have all been in Triple-A.) Stephenson has the best surface-level numbers of the Triple-A arms, with a 3.59 ERA in 47 2/3 innings, but while he’s averaged an impressive 10.6 K/9 this year, he’s also averaging more than five walks per nine innings pitched. Lefty Justin Nicolino is also on hand as a veteran option in Louisville, though he’s not on the 40-man roster at present.
Still a big Stephenson fan. Thought he turned a corner at the end of last season but it looks like he fell back into his old ways walking batters. Reds have had a rough go of it developing pitchers. Lots of top 100 arms at one point or another, but not a lot to show for it
A lot of those walks came in back to back starts about a month ago. Other than that Stephenson has been more than solid. He certainly should be occupying a rotation spot over Romano or Mahle. Both of whom could use some more time in AAA to work on some things. Romano needs more control/consistency, Mahle has to find a second pitch if he’s ever going to get big league hitters out consistently.
Do what? Mahle has four big league caliber pitches. His problem is he’s actually getting too much of the strike zone. He’s the most solid arm in the rotation.
I’m not sure where you seen/heard that he has 4 big league pitches, all of his pitches rate as below average offerings aside from his fastball by most outlets. Fangraphs actually gives his slider a 50 on the 20-80. That’s the only place I’ve seen anything but his fastball rate even average. The best pitch in baseball is a well located fastball, and Mahle does that about as well as anyone, but if he has nothing else to keep hitters off of it it’s still not gonna work. There’s at least 7 different ways to throw an effective changeup, I would have Mahle go down to AAA and experiment with all of them in the hopes one works well for him.
Perhaps he actually watched him pitch rather than read something on Fangraphs.
So he watched the player pitch rather than look up information regarding said player. So what?
Unless slasher is a baseball scout who knows what to look for, then why does him “seeing” the player pitch make him more knowledgeable than someone who looks at the players data and rating on the scouting scale (provided by legitimate sources) on a website that is literally dedicated to analyzing baseball players?
With that being said,I would like to request slasher and CC’s sources. From slasher it would be a link to a video of the pitcher pitching and his scouting report with comparisons to others. From CC it would be links to the sources that he looked at to come to his conclusion.
Are you implying that fangraphs and/or myself have not seen Tyler Mahle pitch? Because I can promise you that’s just not true. I’m sure fangraphs scouts actually watch the game as well even if they do rely heavily on metrics to draw conclusions. I think that’s why they gave his slider the highest rating because it did draw good metric numbers last season. As for myself I live in the Cincinnati market so I see them play more than any other team and Mahle just does not have good secondary stuff, that’s why he gives up tons of HR’s and even walks a high number of hitters for a control pitcher because the lack of a put away pitch.
Jacob, any scouting reports or stats I cited came from Mahle’s fangraphs page. https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=16358&position=P
Their the only site that still has a scouting report up for him, at least for free, since he’s passed prospect status now.
Thank you for providing a source, CC.
I simply dislike it when people overvalue observation over statistics and vice versa, as both are necessary for player analysis. It’s fine to prefer one over the other, but waiving one off as “less important” is illogical.
*end of rant
I’m with ya man, I never understood why it’s like one vs the other. They both can tell you things that the other really can’t. And when your able to combine good data with smart baseball men you reach the pinnacle of the game. But it seems like the old school guys are afraid of being replaced and the new school is kinda scared of being bullied out or whatever instead of trying to work together to find the best answer.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. I think it’s gotten better in recent years, with most of the division being fans vs front office and fans vs fans. Nothing we can do about that except steer clear of that iceberg (I grazed it in my first comment)
50 is a big league pitch
but only one can destroy the game for fans.
Wow. You found a way to make possibly the most illogical comment in weeks. Wow. Golf clap for you.
Get a clue.
An MLB average pitch. I think the point of the whole thread was that Mahle needs to develop an average or above average pitch he can consistently throw for strikes. Mahle has an average slider with good movement, just not one he can throw for strikes consistently. Until he develops that command of the slider, his fastball is going to get teed up.
hiflew – Best comment on this thread. “Fangraphs actually gives….” ah, shove it. He and the other dude trying to justify this stupidity, cmon. Your callout was perfect.
You don’t need to regurgitate fangraphs stats all day and use it as your end all be all decision of a pitcher. But I’m fairly confident their valuation of a player is fairly accurate. You hire an appraiser to appraise a property because they understand what they’re looking at. They’re not always spot on either but they’re a lot better at evaluating than JoeX the mlbTR commenter. No different than that.
Bring back Finnegan ! he said said he was too good to leave out of the rotation lmao
Finnegan was by far the worst starter the Reds have run out there this season.
They don’t let them pitch.
It al starts with the coaching , and the reds can’t get anything right , Bailey is done , Hamilton can’t hit, they to rebuilt their coaching staff first in the minors and in the big leagues
When did Christian Bale join the Reds
dude!!! i was totally going to post something to that extent.
That’s why they call him Batman.
The reds rotation has the Dark Knight, a Bale look alike and three jokers.
nice work to you as well!!
I have a feeling most Reds fans were hoping the headline ended at “Red discuss moving Homer Bailey”
Move where? The Free Agents list while they still pay him would be the only other option.
It was to be taken as a joke
Call Dipoto in Seattle . That dude will trade for him.
I hope he works out in relief, but the greater probability is they’ll ultimately have to DFA him and eat that contract. Yeah, it sucks, but nobody will touch him until he clears waivers……oh, and he’s ineffective.
lol how lop
M’s need to do the same thing with Felix.
Homer leads the league is surrendering homers?
Truth is stranger than fiction. Tribe pitcher Josh Tomlin has surrendered 17 in about 35 innings of work, and Bailey is the only one between him and #1 on the list.
Is Homer Bailey the worst SP in MLB?
Lucas Giolito has 10 more walks than strikeouts, an ERA in the 7s, FIP in the 6s, and a WHIP in the 1.7s; he’s probably the worst. But Bailey’s not much better.
probably, yeah. Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn are also for consideration right now
They get a pass for missing most of spring training.
Chris Tillman is pretty bad.
If we go by performance+health+contract, then Bailey takes the cake. He reminds me of Eric Milton except less healthy and, by some stretch, possibly worse.
Honorable mention(s): Matt Harvey, Bryan Mitchell, the Grimm and Boyer duo, Wilmer Font
Bailey’s contract is overlooked. It’s one of the worst in baseball. Never deserved that kind of money even at his best.
your crazy. You can find 10 analyst when it was done saying what a great deal it was. He would have got 25 more at least on the open market. You can’t predict these kinds of injuries
His 2012-13 seasons were fine. Not $20+ million fine. Not even close. If you thought he deserved his contract, then you’re crazy sir/madam.
Some people are just way too pleased with their 20-20 hindsight.
Some people like to re-write history.
I’d say Sergio Romo. He hasn’t lasted more than 2 innings all year
You do know that Romo is a reliever right?
It has to be witty
and humorous for that to work moron! Get a clue!
I’m sure Matt Harvey will help his new teammate make a positive adjustment to the pen…
This pay is the same right?
They’ll let him chill in the pen for the rest of the year. Maybe a spot start. Then DFA him in the offseason and eat the final year of the contract.
The first $100 million reliever.
I don’t know any true reds follower that wasn’t scratching their head when Bailey got the money and Cueto got the boot. Homer had 4 seasons of ineffective injuriy seasons before having 2 years of 200 innings and 3.5 era’s… cueto was cy young during those years and the years following and just had competitive grit. Bailey has always had the mound presence of a lost puppy and the return on cueto was nothing… jocketty and his goons are the problem.
Thank you for this
Jocketty and Dick Williams have squandered Chapman, cueto, Frazier, Bruce, cozart and received nothing zip zilch to try to rebuild… proof you can miserably fail as a gm in this league if your owners know nothing about baseball… sad