Good days for Harang, Bailey

Aaron Harang was easily the best he’s been this spring on Wednesday vs. the Astros. He threw four scoreless innings with three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Harang left the game leading, 6-0. The Reds won easily by an 8-2 score.

Another pitching highlight was Homer Bailey, who tossed two scoreless innings. Bailey gave up three hits and hit a batter while striking out one. With two outs in the sixth, Hunter Pence and Geoff Blum lifted back-to- back singles to center field. David Newhan was in the foot by a slider and it loaded the bases. Bailey escaped serious damage when Lou Palmisano’s tailing fly ball near the right field foul line was snared by Jonny Gomes with a head-first diving catch.

Gomes catch was the play of the game.

“That was an outstanding catch. It was at a big time too,” said Bailey, who waited in front of the dugout to offer a thanks and high-five to Gomes.

Here was Bailey’s take on his outing:

“I wasn’t completely happy but I wasn’t displeased either.”

“Even some of the hits they had, I got inside on them. Those are good signs I’m getting the ball right where I need to be. The only problem I had was I couldn’t use my slider as an out pitch. I was a little long with it.”

The Newhan HBP was a slider near the dirt. Bailey mentioned he’s rarely used his changeup this spring but has success with a couple of strikeouts when he has.

Here are the fifth starter numbers to date:

Micah Owings is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts with 12 strikeouts through 10 2/3 innings. Bailey has a 0.90 ERA in four games, including two starts while totaling eight strikeouts in 10 innings. Third main candidate Nick Masset has struggled in two of his three outings and has a 6.75 ERA (six earned runs and 13 hits over eight innings).

Based on what I’ve seen, I think Owings is still the leader with Bailey a close second. 

4 Comments

Mark, Has there been any talk of the possibility of Homer starting the year in the bullpen or is the fact that Masset is out of option to much to overcome?
My thinking is if Owings can continue to pitch well and wins that 5th spot, but Bailey also pitches well, he may be of better use in long relief and spot starter with the big club. As opposed to being demoted again to AAA.

Is it actually possible to have Owings start with Bailey and Masset in the bullpen? I can’t see that happening but who knows.
Here is a question about Bailey. In regarding the Super 2 rule for major league service, has Bailey met the qualifications for that yet?
If not, if Owings and Bailey are pitching equally I see Owings get the starting job. What do you think Mark?

When camp opened, Dusty Baker did not rule out the bullpen as a role for any of the main three fifth starter candidates if they didn’t get to start. I don’t think two of the non-starters would fit because there is really only one available bullpen spot if the club goes with 12 pitchers.

Like I said, Owings has the edge in my mind. If nothing else, his bat helps his cause as well as his pitching.

And I don’t think Bailey would qualify for Super 2 status. He only has 0.086 days in MLB service time.

So who has the edge for the bullpen spot, Bailey or Masset? If Masset doesn’t make the big club out of camp, what are the chances he clears waivers? Do you think Bailey would be open to the bullpen role for now?

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