It’s difficult to remember what Homer Bailey looks like on the mound since the last time you watched the Cincinnati Reds righty was before the advent of HD TV. Bailey, who underwent surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips back in February after he had surgery on his right elbow to fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament after he had surgery on his right elbow to fix a flexor mass tendon, has become more of a leprechaun slash Paul Bunyan slash Bigfoot to Reds fans over the last three seasons, someone about whom you hear but never, ever see.
That’s (hopefully) about to change soon, however. The Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans reported Wednesday afternoon that Bailey will join AA Pensacola to begin an official rehab stint, and will start for the Blue Wahoos on Friday.
Homer Bailey’s now 31 years old, and though he’s been out for so incredibly long, it still feels like he skipped to 31 straight from being 24. Regardless, there should still be enough in the tank to be an asset to a Cincinnati pitching staff that ranks dead last in all of baseball in every single important stat ever created, provided he can finally keep the arm that’s thrown a pair of no-hitters anything close to healthy.
But wait...there's more good news!
It appears that Brandon Finnegan - who, along with Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani form the Reds' three-headed 60-day DL monster - has also begun to ramp up his rehab from the strained trapezius muscle that shut him down back in April, according to Reuters' Jeff Wallner.
Finnegan threw 2 1/3 innings in a "camp game" on Tuesday. Reports were positive. Price said good slider, threw strikes. #Reds— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) June 7, 2017
While obviously not as far along as Bailey, getting Finnegan back at some point towards the end of June now seems like a tangible reality, which finally allows for us to dream about a starting rotation that may not be one of the worst in recent MLB history. Fact is, with the bullpen largely rock solid, the best team defense in baseball, and a position-player core that's been the best in all of baseball so far this year, even a league-averageish starting rotation could be enough for this Reds team to make some noise for the rest of the year. And for any team that's engrossed in a deep, dark rebuild, the first sign of emerging from the doldrums of the league is fervent noise making.
Cross your fingers, toes, and nose hairs, folks.