OK, so perhaps we should not have been so quick to dismiss Homer Bailey's(notes) recent four-hit shutout of the Pirates. When Albert Pujols(notes) says that a pitcher has great stuff, I'm willing to concede the point.
A few days ago, Pujols spoke with Chris Liss and Jeff Erickson during a radio segment on RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today. Here's a link to the interview. These were Albert's comments when Liss asked him to name an under-the-radar pitcher who impressed him (which is an awesome question, by the way):
"A guy that's really good, I think, is Homer Bailey from Cincinnati. He's got good stuff. For a young kid like he is, when he puts his stuff together, I mean, he's going to be amazing. That guy has a real live arm — good split, good curveball — and he keeps the ball down. For being in that park in Cincinnati, it's amazing."
Fair enough. It's possible that "amazing" is a go-to adjective for Pujols, but the other details he offered were pretty compelling, too. We forget that Bailey is still just 24. Of course Albert is also 4-for-11 lifetime against him with a homer, five RBIs, four walks and one steal. Maybe he's just trying to set the kid up: "Keep doing your thing, Homer! … (and the punishment will continue)."
Also (and this seems much more likely), Liss may have asked Pujols off-air to say something nice about Bailey, so as to temporarily enhance Homer's trade value. Albert can move the market, and he seems like an accommodating guy; Liss owns Bailey in the Friends & Family League and presumably elsewhere.
I've had little interest in Bailey in recent seasons — the 1.46 career K/BB is a problem — but these Pujols comments have given me reason to reconsider. He's merely on the watch-list at the moment, though, not the add-list. And certainly not the trade-list.
If you have a few minutes to spare — and you're reading a fantasy blog, so c'mon: you're not a busy person — check out the full RotoWire/Pujols conversation via the link above. It's full of good stuff.
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