Monday, April 9, 2007

Don't bring up Bailey!

I just read a brief blog post by John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer detailing Homer Bailey's first start in AAA Louisville this year, pitching against Toledo. For those of you with lazy fingers, here was his line:

5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K

John Fay seems to think that this start will cause some serious commotion among fans. Really? It's not like the kid just pitched a complete-game shutout. Giving up only one hit is nice, but going only 5 1/3 innings and giving up three walks in the Limbo League while walking three isn't enough to earn you a callup. Especially if you're going to be the cornerstone of this franchise next year.

I'm not bashing Bailey here. It's a good start. But this only goes to reinforce my long-standing position on the matter. Bailey should not be up here until at least the All-Star break. 2007 is not meant to be the Reds' year (at least on paper). Hold out for 2009, when he's mowing down batters, Joey Votto is rocketing balls off the batter's eye, and Jay Bruce is on the verge of a callup.

Regardless of how bad Milton is (and I know, he's bad - frighteningly bad), patience is the key here. The last thing we want is to rush Bailey and toss away one of our best pitching prospects in a long time.

This is the kind of care you have to take with the #5-rated prospect according to Baseball America. Number five! It's something special when you've got someone in the top 1% of all of minor league baseball. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling just thinking about it, and if you don't, check your pulse, Reds fans. He's getting close to lighting up the GABP mound.

He's just not there yet.

I'll post later tonight after the Reds have laid the smackdown on the Snakes.

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