There’s not really much more you can say about Homer Bailey these days. Earlier this week, we detailed how he’s been the worst pitcher - by ERA - in the big leagues this year. We also wrote about how he’s been the worst pitcher - by ERA - over the last two, and three years, among the pitchers in this game who have thrown as many innings as he has.
This year, in particular, it wasn’t even due to an injury, really, as so many of his other derailments can trace. This year, it was seemingly just because he was confined to throwing meatball after meatball, and getting rocked for it accordingly.
It appears, though, that may have finally ended, at least for 2018. As MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reported earlier on Friday, Tyler Mahle will replace Bailey in the Cincinnati Reds rotation for now, as Jim Riggleman revealed at the annual season ticket holder’s luncheon.
At a season ticket holder luncheon, Riggleman announced that Tyler Mahle will replace Homer Bailey in the rotation #Reds— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) September 7, 2018
Yes, after the Reds have gone just 1-19 in Bailey’s 20 starts this season, it seems they’re finally going to do something about it.
Of course, the decision is, and has been, much more complicated than just that. With a minimum of $28 million due to Bailey beyond this season no matter what, it’s always been a given that the Reds were going to give him every possible chance to show he’s actually still a decent enough pitcher. Sunk costs, though a reasonable economic concept, are always a bit easier to point out when it’s not your own money that’s on the ocean floor - and there has been no indication that this is a decision that includes the 2019 season, to be clear.
For now, though, we’ll get to see Tyler Mahle get another chance, one he certainly deserves after such a brilliant run of form earlier this season. The 23 year old certainly hit a rough patch mid-summer prior to his demotion back to AAA, but the good that we’ve seen from him so far paired with that young of an age means that he, not a 31 year old like Bailey, is the kind of pitcher that deserves a long leash at this point in the long, dark rebuild we’ve watched the Reds swim through for a half-decade.