According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden yesterday via twitter
Dusty Baker just told us they’re paying a lot of money to Bailey & Chapman and we’ll have to find roles for them even if it’s in bullpen
Yet Dusty Baker wonders in the same conversation:
Baker just told us that he’s sick of having to answer about his contract status saying “I guess I just have to win like I did 3 other times”
I couldn’t imagine why someone who constantly, publicly contradicts his boss would have a tough time securing a contract extension.
Reading between the lines, Baker is considering having Jeff Francis be the team’s 5th starter this year, and having Bailey & Chapman pitch out of the bullpen. Or that one of Chapman or Bailey would make the rotation and the other would stay in the major league bullpen. This is at least the third time that Baker has mentioned using Chapman as a major league reliever. He has an option year left and should be starting in Louisville if he doesn’t crack the major league rotation.
I’m not sure the motivation behind the Bailey comment. Surely, it wasn’t based on a single Spring outing? Bailey coughed up 6 runs in 2 1/3 innings last week. Bailey is out of options, so if the Reds feel that he isn’t one of the 5 best starters on the team, he may very well be relegated to a relief role. By all accounts in prior years, the notion of Bailey as a reliever has always been dismissed because Bailey does not warm up fast enough to work as a reliever.
Both Bailey and and Chapman are making starts today. Bailey in the major league game and Chapman in a minor league preseason game.