Upcoming fireballer Homer Bailey -- despite heavy competition for limited spots on a deep Reds staff -- likely will make the starting order out of spring training.
It's not so much that Bailey seems to be catching on after three years of difficulty -- note his 31 strikeouts and 3.72 ERA in his last 29 innings of work last year -- but that he is out of options, and cannot be sent back to Louisville without exposing him to other teams.
Hello Homer Bailey. Good bye Mike Leake.
Barring a complete catastrophe in the Cactus League, Bailey will open the season as the No. 4 or No. 5 starter, and needs to make the most of his opportunity given that the team has so many other options, especially with the return of Edinson Volquez from the disabled list.
Observers have never questioned Bailey's potential, given his high '90s fastball and other pitches, but fault him for his obstinance in taking direction. It might be a bit harsh to call him uncoachable so early in his career, but it would seem to be high time that he matured if he wants to stick around.