Bailey Sent Down; Cueto A Number 3?

The big news out of spring training is that the Reds’ #1 pitching prospect has been sent down to Triple A Louisville to start the season. Homer Bailey, 21, had a rough spring and needs some fine tuning to keep down high pitch counts and to improve his location.

Bailey compiled a 1-3 record with a 5.21 ERA in six starts. Homer also had a line of 11 ER, 24 H, 16 walks and 11 Ks over the 19 innings pitched. Our other concern is that he is often slow to the plate with a long stride on his lead leg. This allows runners to get a huge jump towards second base and allow an easy steal. Hopefully Homer can get things corrected within a short amount of time to be major league ready and return for a long period of time.

With the move, the Reds have sent a rather clear signal to Johnny Cueto who has received rave reviews by not only new manager Dusty Baker, but also other managers and players who have faced him over the course of the spring.

Cueto, 22, was drafted out of the Dominican Republic and posted mind boggling numbers for a man who, by some scouts’ estimation, shouldn’t have the power and stuff for his size. Out of Spring Training, Cueto has posted a 5.27 ERA, 11 H, 8 ER, and 12 K in 13 2/3 innings. What’s more impressive is what he did in the minor leagues last season.

A 3.07 ERA, 170 Ks, and 34 BB in 161 innings was made even more impressive when he reached Louisville at the AAA level. In four starts, he had 21 Ks and only TWO walks in 22 innings.

If Cueto can be efficient in the third spot in the rotation, he has a very good chance of sticking around on the ball club that desperately needs a little attitude and tenacity on the pitching staff.

The Reds rotation as of right now would look something like:

Aaron Harang

Bronson Arroyo

Johnny Cueto

Josh Fogg

Edinson Volquez

We are glad to see some new blood be infused with some veterans on the staff. Hopefully the Reds continue to scout well and find another strong starting pitcher to go with a somewhat improved bullpen.

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Lazy Sunday News and Links…Again

New Reds

The Reds have singed a bunch of players to new contracts with invites to spring training.

Veteran Craig Wilson, who plays in the outfield and first base, was signed on Feb. 9th. Some see this move as a possible impetus to a deal that would involve Joey Votto packaged with some others in order to acquire Joe Blanton from the A’s. John Fay is also reporting that Billy Beane is also asking for Johnny Cueto and another player to be included in a deal. In our opinion, this would be a colossal mistake and hopefully Krivsky will keep his head and not pull the trigger.

From a Reds Press Release:

“Blanton, who signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the A’s on Jan. 18 to avoid arbitration, would be a boost in the No. 3 spot. The right-hander was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 230 innings pitched last season. He walked just 40 batters and struck out 140 but one red flag was his 5.11 ERA on the road compared to 2.69 at home.”

On February 1st, the Reds signed LHP Scott Sauerback and C Paul Bako. Both were invited to soak in the sun down in Sarasota. Sauerback might be an option down in the bully to give Dusty Baker the option of not bringing in Mike Stanton.

The Reds also signed grizzled vet Kent Merker to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Merker did not pitch in 2007 due to injury and more than likely will not make the roster.

Spring Training on TV

We are super excited about the possibility about seeing some live spring training games this spring. FSN Ohio, which expanded its regular season last year, will broadcast three spring games.

 

March 10 vs. Yankees (7:15 PM)

March 17 vs. Tigers (1:05 PM)
March 24 vs. Blue Jays (7:05 PM)

 

This is one of the best things that has happened since the new ownership group took over. Expanding coverage during the regular season and now spring training will certainly help grow the fan base some. However, putting a winning product on the field will be the biggest boost. Speaking of which….

FSN Ohio Classic Reds

We failed to mention this a few weeks back but FSN Ohio has been playing Classic Reds games. We guess this is another attempt to drum up support for the upcoming season. They have played Pete’s 4192 hit game, Game 4 of the 1990 World Series, and Tom Seaver’s no-hitter.

Tomorrow night they will replay the 2006 Reds vs. Indians game in which Adam Dunn hits a grand slam off closer Bob Wickman to win the game. This was one of the most dramatic comebacks in recent memory due to the Reds being down and out early in the ballgame. We considering doing a sorta-live blog of the game as it goes down, trying to recall how we felt during the game and its amazing conclusion. Stay tuned for that.