Cincinnati Reds: Has Homer Bailey Finally Turned the Corner?

By Brad Stiene
Jeff Curry-USATODAY Sports

When Homer Bailey made his MLB debut in 2007 for the Cincinnati Reds  a lot of Reds fans had high expectations for the 21-year old star out of LaGrange, Texas.

While Bailey has never really lived up to the expectations that many Reds’ fans have had for him during his six year career, the 2012 season brought glimmers of hope and a look into what Bailey can bring the table.

Throughout much of his career, Bailey had always worked himself into jams what seemed time after time. Many analysts tried to explain what was going wrong with him, including his pitching coaches. Many experts, including Reds’ broadcaster, Jeff Brantley, said that Bailey was more of a thrower rather than a pitcher. It got to the point that the Reds finally sent him back to Triple-A to work out the kinks. But at some points in the the previous seasons it looked like it didn’t work.

But the 2012 season came along and Bailey was never an outstanding pitcher. He would give around six innings per start but never really wow you in those starts. But as the season grew older, there was something that finally clicked and Bailey finally figured it out. You could see that Bailey became more and more of a pitcher rather than a thrower. This point was backed up in September of last season when he threw a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Even if Reds’ fans thought that was a great way to go out, Bailey followed that up with a seven inning, one run, one hit and 10 strikeout performance against the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs.

But now that the new baseball season is just around the corner, look out for Bailey to become a key anchor in this Reds’ pitching staff. Bailey at the end of last season really helped the Reds down the stretch and into the playoffs. If Bailey were to pitch all season like he did down the stretch of last season, look out for the trio of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Bailey to be dominant force  against opponents in the 2013 season.

Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter, @bs_rant1 

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