Just in case you were wondering how Homer Bailey felt about pitching for the Louisville Bats, here's a short, well-crafted update from the Dayton Daily News' Marc Katz:
Bailey, 22, expected not only to make the Reds, but to be in the rotation. Instead, he ended up in Louisville. He accepted the assignment, but does not like to talk about it.
Asked Tuesday if he had learned anything pitching in Louisville, Bailey said "no" and walked away.
Perhaps Bailey learned something against Richmond last Saturday, when he gave up 11 hits and six earned runs in 4.1 innings. He struck out only one batter, and allowed a first inning home run to Brandon Jones. Bailey takes the hill today against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Matt Belisle (1-3, 7.45 ERA, 1.91 WHIP) starts for Cincinnati today against the Marlins.
And what's Jay Bruce up to?
Check yesterday's box score. He went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, and his eighth home run of the season. Bruce also walked twice. He's now hitting .366/.398/.662, and he's stolen seven bases.
Other than Brandon Phillips, is there anyone in Cincinnati's lineup who could reasonably put up those numbers against Triple-A pitching in 150+ plate appearances? It's debatable.
As we've mentioned before, both Bruce and Bailey are already in the Yahoo! player pool. Bailey is there because he pitched in the majors last season, and Bruce is there because we ranked him rather high prior to spring training. Bruce is the better add, and we don't think it's especially close.
This sort of ridiculousness is pretty irritating to those of us who've invested in Bruce:
He's hitting .611 over his last 10 games, raising his average to .366, tops in the International League.
If the Reds had a spot, it sounds like he'd be up already.
If the Reds had a spot?
You mean like, say, centerfield, which is currently occupied by Corey Patterson and his .282 OBP? (Yup, that's right. The Reds' leadoff hitter fails to
clog the basepaths reach base in 72 percent of his plate appearances). We'll say it again, and not for the first time here: Jay Bruce needs to be on someone's roster in mixed leagues. Even if your outfield is loaded, he's a valuable trade chip.
Bailey, however, is likely to be more of a spot-starter in mixed leagues. His walks are down so far this year -- he has 14 in 50.2 innings, versus 32 in 67.1 innings at Louisville last season -- which is especially encouraging when you consider that he hasn't learned anything. But the 22-year-old's K-rate (7.1 strikeouts per nine innings) isn't quite where we hoped it would be after his brilliant 2006 season at Double-A (7-1, 1.59 ERA, 10.2 K/9). Kershaw is the minor league pitcher you should be more excited about.