Hopefully, a step in Homer Bailey’s maturity doesn’t involve a trip to the operating table. Before Sunday’s start against the Indians, John Fay provided us with the following quote from Dusty Baker, emphasis added:

“Hopefully – how should I say this? – it’s the maturity of Homer,” Dusty Baker said. “I’ve left him in certain games, certain situations to help him to get to this point. Maturity is really important to this game. I hope he can handle it and pitch accordingly.

“I call it kind of like the making of an ace. That’s what I told him.

“It’s a big game for us. It’s not do or die. It sure can take us a long ways and take his confidence over the top.”

I’m not sure if Baker is referring to six straight starts of 114+ pitches after the Reds were out it last fall, his 2nd start of the 2010 season, or his 121-pitch start against St. Louis on May 1st. I call it kind of like a surgery waiting to happen.

Whichever situations Baker is referring to, I also hope that Bailey can handle it and that he receives the news he is looking for from the doctor today.