From today’s Enquirer:
Some of us wanted Bailey here a month ago when the Reds disabled Eric Milton. Some of us fairly screamed for him two weeks ago after Kyle Lohse’s third consecutive bombs-away start. When the season still bore a whiff of expectation, that’s when the cavalry was needed.
But the question lingers:
What makes a guy better in a month?
Or even two weeks?
At a luncheon May 25, Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky told season-ticketholders Bailey wasn’t ready. That was 12 days ago. Now, he’s ready. Things change.
I’m not a Baseball Guy, so help me understand why a kid (Livingston) who paints zeroes in the big leagues is in Louisville, while a kid who gave up four runs in his last Triple-A start is coming to Cincinnati. Is the long arm of ownership overruling the “people”?
The Reds wanted the 21-year-old Bailey to work on breaking balls, rely less on fastballs and get hitters out when his heat was less than sweat-inducing. That’s been the directive for a year, at least. As of 12 days ago, he hadn’t done that.
“My minor-league people said he made strides in his last three or four starts,” Krivsky said. “They felt the timing was right.”
Here’s a head-scratcher, though, if it’s your millions supporting this club: By coming up now, Bailey will be eligible for so-called Super 2 arbitration, or very close. Without boring you into a coma, what Super 2 means is, Bailey might have enough major-league service time to be get arbitration after two full years instead of the standard three. The difference between players who get arbitration and players who don’t is millions. If you’re Bob Castellini and your team is 14 games under .500 and 10 games out, why not wait a few weeks to promote Bailey and eliminate any Super 2 possibility? A few million dollars is a few million dollars. Even in Major League Baseball.
Krivsky had some thoughts about that.
“That’s comical. It’s garbage. Ridiculous. Can I say it in any stronger terms?”
I believe that the Reds called Bailey up to generate some excitement (and attendance). He hasn’t pitched markedly better in his last few starts. There is no statistical sign that the “light came on” for him. I think this call came from ownership…that’s my belief.
I also believe that the Reds will find a way to keep him from being a Super 2…either by sending him back down, finding an “injury” at some point, or shutting him down due to games or innings.
I don’t really care about any of that. I just want Homer Bailey to be the pitcher that we all hope he can be. That whatever the Reds management decides is best for him enables him to become the Ace of this staff in a short period of time.