Friday, February 22, 2013

What kind of season can be expected from Homer Bailey?

Will Homer Bailey continue to progress in 2013 or will he revert back to his former self?

Expectations, inconsistency, and injury have plagued Bailey's career in Cincinnati. He has always been seen as having "ace-like" potential, but never lived up to those lofty projections. 2012 was a different year for him. He posted the best numbers of his career going 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and 168 strikeouts. He credited a lot of his success to staying healthy, allowing him to make 33 starts and throw 208 innings.

He did struggle in his starts at Great American Ball Park, compiling a 4-8 record with a 5.16 ERA at home. He was a warrior on the road though. He sported a tidy 2.32 ERA, while going 9-2 in his 16 starts away from GABP. With all that being said, he put together a magnificent start at GABP against San Francisco during the playoffs. He struck out 10 Giants over seven innings of one-run baseball, though the Reds lost 2-1.

That playoff game was a big moment for Bailey, but the biggest moment of his career year without a doubt occurred on September 28th in Pittsburgh when he threw the first Reds no-hitter since 1988. He completely shut down the Pirates, striking out 10 en route to a 1-0 victory.

Bailey's great year will certainly have fans wanting more in 2013. His success last year may have expectations for him at an all-time high. If he can come through, then he, Johnny Cueto, and Mat Latos will be a solid foundation, giving the Reds one of the top rotations in all of baseball.

W-L: 13-8
ERA: 3.68
IP: 191.0
WHIP: 1.23
SO/9: 7.54
WAR: 3.0
GS: 31
SO: 160

ERA: 4.00
BABIP: .291
GS: 29
IP: 173.3
SO: 138
SO/9: 7.17
WAR: 2.8

GS: 34
IP: 202
SO: 165
W: 14
ERA: 4.05
WHIP: 1.31
SO/9: 7.35

As you can see, FanGraphs is projecting a pretty similar year to last year for Bailey. There's not a ton of variation among the other projections, but ZiPS and ESPN both show an increase in ERA and all three expect a drop in the number of strikeouts Bailey will record. It seems pretty fair to expect these kinds of numbers from the Batman look-alike. Perhaps, he can build off his strong second half and exceed expectations for 2013.

Fun fact: Bailey signed a one-year, $5.35 million deal to avoid arbitration for this year. He'll enter his final year of arbitration-eligibility in 2014 before becoming a free agent in 2015.

Here are the links to past player previews:
Aroldis Chapman

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