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Updating the All-Time Reds List: Homer Bailey

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In which a rarely seen would-be ace is rediscovered, briefly

One of only nine action shots taken of Bailey this year.
One of only nine action shots taken of Bailey this year.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Homer Bailey faced 111 batters this season and 19 of them scored.

That's not to suggest that it was a completely lost season.  Just getting on the mound is an important step after Tommy John surgery and history informs us that it takes a while for a pitcher to regain his feel and control after this procedure.  If you are looking for positive encouragement, you could observe that three of Bailey's six starts this season were good: combined 16.7 innings with just three earned runs allowed.  His other three starts were true disasters, but that's par for the course perhaps.

More optimism: Bailey's strikeout-to-walk ratio in limited innings was 3.86, which would stand as the best mark of his career.  Perhaps more importantly, Bailey was striking out more than a batter per inning, something he's never done before.  He didn't come back from surgery with a magical velocity boost to his fastball, so who knows if this is sustainable.

And who knows about any of it, really.  After six starts, Bailey exited the season with bicep tenderness.  He's thrown 34 innings over the last 24 months.  He's never had a season with an ERA+ above 112 nor has he struck out 200 batters in a single season.  He's signed for three more years, so we'll see what his arm still has in store, for better or worse.

Bailey has made 174 starts for the Reds, posting a record of 60-54, with a 4.24 ERA (94 ERA+).  He has 859 strikeouts against just 332 walks.  On the basis of his shortened 2016 season, Bailey remains at #226 on the Reds all-time list.