Homer Bailey Getting Ready
Homer Bailey fans have until May first to purchase their number 34 jerseys.
From the naked eye it looks like Bailey, who threw his second live batting practice on Thursday, is ready now but caution and rehab protocol have his ETA set around May 1 and no later than the middle of the month. The Reds start a long homestand on May 2 if all goes well he could be activated at the start of the homestand or by the end of it.
“He’s coming along really nicely,” Price said. “He had two bullpens under his belt when he got to Arizona. He wasn’t that far behind. He just had endurance stuff and the protocol from a guy coming off surgery. He looks strong. He doesn’t look like an injury rehab guy at all.”
The idea was to simulate two innings. Bailey threw 15 pitches then sat for two minutes and threw 15 more pitches.
“That was a good way to start,” Bailey said. “I feel good. It’s been a long time. All things considered my command was pretty good.”
The surgery and the rehab has been a pleasant surprise.
“The surgery went smoother than I expected. I haven’t had any discomfort,” Bailey said.
Many teams have shown a propensity to take surgery patients more toward the back end of the 12-18 month prognosis that commonly accompanies elbow surgery but Bailey isn’t concerned that it is too soon.
“You would have to ask doctors and trainers about that. I do whatever they tell me to do,” Bailey said. “All I can do is report how I feel and that has been pretty good.”
The Reds want to build Bailey to 95 - 100 pitches which will be about six starts. The plan is to leave him in Arizona and pitch in extended spring then move him up when the minor league season gets started.
“We want him to get him up to the higher levels of minor league baseball so he’s facing better hitters toward the end,” Price said.
Melville In Starting Rotation
Tim Melville has been penciled in by Bryan Price to start the season in the Reds’ rotation.
Setbacks to Michael Lorenzen and Jon Moscot provided an opening for Melville, who has pitched 11 1/3 innings in four games, one start. Melville has allowed nine runs, seven of which were earned. He’s walked five and struck out nine.
Lorenzen was examined last week and is prohibited from throwing until Dr. Kremchek sees him again in a week. It is too late in the spring to get him stretched out in time.
Moscot strained his rib cage swinging a bat and hasn’t pitched since March 11.
Melville was signed to a minor league contract in November. He was the Kansas City Royals fourth round pick in 2008. He spent last season in the Detroit Tigers organization.
“We scouted him and saw that his stuff is better than his statistics showed,” said Price of 26-year old with a 31-54 record and a 4.75 ERA in seven minor league seasons. “We are trying to catch lightning in a bottle with him. If he can perfect his change up, it might change his career. There are Hall of Famers that have turned their career around once they developed a good change up.”
The Reds had their day off on Wednesday, leaving eight more games. Some of the regulars, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce were given the day off on Thursday.
“We wanted to give them either the day before or the day after off to give them consecutive days,” Price said. “We want to let them do things with their family or friends if they wanted to. We will be pushing for opening day from here on out. The polish goes on.”
The Reds regulars will be playing longer into games and more back-to-back days.
The diminished playing time for players still competing for jobs is becoming scarce.
“We will get the guys competing for platoon positions or final bench spots to play in minor league games. It is a challenge for those guys to stay sharp,” Price said.