Couple of Homer Bailey articles over the weekend, beginning with this piece from

The Reds currently carry just four healthy starting pitchers with big league experience. That number should increase during the remainder of winter, with Bailey appearing to have the inside track for the No. 4 spot. General manager Wayne Krivsky said during the Winter Meetings that the pitching prospect would still have to earn a job in Spring Training.

“I think that’s the way it should be,” Bailey said. “I don’t want to be given anything.”

Since he was a first-round Draft pick in 2004, Bailey has been given goals each season from improving his mix of offspeed pitches to holding runners. Heading into a new season, he wasn’t concerned about meeting people’s expectations or goals.

“I don’t care what people’s goals for me are,” he said. “If I can live up to my own expectations, then I’m by far reaching their goals. I have my goals, and that’s what I stick to.”

Then, this article in the Dayton Daily News says Bailey wants a fresh start in 2008:

Homer Bailey says he’s taking a few things with him from last season.

“I have a pair of cleats,” the Cincinnati Reds pitcher joked Saturday on a break from signing autographs at Redsfest. “And I think I have a glove, too.”

Point is, Bailey’s trying to start fresh. The young fireballer who fizzled in his first term with the Reds last season after making his much anticipated — and demanded by fans — debut against the Cleveland Indians last season, wants a new beginning….

Many Reds fans worry Dusty Baker will ruin young pitchers, like Bailey, by making them pitch for too many innings. If Bailey succeeds, many of those concerns will disappear.

But first, Bailey has to meet his own expectations, which he’s trying to keep fairly modest for now.

“A strike on the first pitch to the first hitter,” Bailey said. “That would be a start.”

Along with Jay Bruce, one of things I’m most interested about with the 2008 Reds is seeing how Homer Bailey pitches. I’m expecting an ERA between 4 and 4.5, and I’ll be happy with that. Anything better than that would be fantastic.