Homer Bailey Deserving #4 Status in Rotation

By Jeff Gray
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

The Cincinnati Reds have been very blessed this year with their starting pitching.  They have only used 6 starters so far this season (Todd Redmond started one game because it was a doubleheader). That is a rarity in the league.  There has been little question as to who the top three pitchers are for the Reds.  The #4 spot has been the battle.  The #4 spot is important because the Reds will only use 4 starters in a playoff series.  For that position, the Reds have had Homer Bailey and Mike Leake going at it.  It appears that Homer Bailey is going to find himself as the #4 guy when the playoffs start (and deservedly so).

Homer Bailey has had an up and down year.  The hardthrowing 22 year-old righthander has had his moments to shine.  Those seem to have occurred away from home.  Oddly, he is a much better pitcher on the road (which bodes well for the Reds because there is a great chance they will have homefield advantage in most series and will be on the road when Bailey pitches).  On the road, Bailey is 8-2 with a 2.63 ERA. Compare that with his home record of 4-7 with a 5.05 ERA and you can plainly see why he should be the #4 guy.  You want him on the mound in someone else’s park.

For the season Homer Bailey is 12-9 with a respectable 3.82 ERA.  His work of late, though, has been impressive.  In his last four starts, Bailey has gone 6 or more innings in each, allowed a total of 5 runs, struck out 26 and, most importantly, is 2-0.

Now it’s not like Leake (8-9) hasn’t had his moments to shine, but it just seems that Leake cannot control the damage when damage appears imminent.  Bailey seems to have a better ability to control the big inning (stop the bleeding) now than he did at the beginning of the year.

For that reason and his recent success, I would start Homer Bailey in the #4 spot of the rotation during the playoffs.  I believe that the young man has earned it.

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