So says Hal McCoy in today’s DDN:

While that might eventually be the case — Bailey as the No. 1 pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds rotation — right now the 20-year-old No. 1 draft choice (2004) knows that the No. 5 spot in the rotation is open, and that’s all he sniffs.

It might not happen. Bailey probably will start the season at Class AAA Louisville, and that’s all right with him, at least outwardly, but how long can the Reds hold a good man down?

They continue to keep a low profile on Bailey, even Reds manager Jerry Narron, who not only thinks Bailey could be the sheriff, but thinks he could be John Wayne.

Asked about the fifth starter candidates Saturday during the first day of spring training camp, Narron said, “We have a lot of guys to choose from. E-Z (Elizardo Ramirez), Matt Belisle, Paul Wilson, Bobby Livingston, Victor Santos, Kirk Saarloos …” As he hesitated, somebody said, “H. Bailey,” and Narron repeated, “H. Bailey.”

Clearly the best-case scenario for the Reds is for Bailey to win the fifth spot in the rotation, and perform as a league-average pitcher…or better. For his part, Bailey is saying all the right things:

“I’m just going day-to-day because there are a lot of good players on this team,” he said. “I’d be in trouble if I wanted to be one through four because those spots are taken (Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Eric Milton, Kyle Lohse). No. 5 is available, so I’d be crazy if I said I didn’t want it. But it’s not my say, and all I can do is follow what they want.”

Lots to watch this spring….