Bailey or Chapman for 5th spot?

*On a tough day at Reds camp, one decision seemingly gets a whole lot tougher.

What will the Reds do with the fifth spot between Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman? Bailey did not look good vs. the Giants in Goodyear: 3 1/3 innings, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 1 WP. Through five starts, he has a 7.98 ERA, seven walks and six strikeouts.

“A lot of things were working sometimes. And sometimes they weren’t. I have not really looked at it yet,” Bailey said of today’s outing.

“He had it. It was just his fastball found too much of the plate,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Over in Peoria against the Padres, Aroldis Chapman had a much better line: 5 ip, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (78 pitches/45 strikes). In four big league games, Chapman has had a much better spring with a 1.50 ERA, two walks and 12 strikeouts. He did allow two runs and four hits over 1 2/3 innings in a Minor League game as well.

Bailey is out of options (due to earn $2.4 million) and Chapman has options left. Coming into camp, it appeared that Bailey had the inside track for the fifth spot while the possiblity was held out that Chapman could keep working as a starter in Triple-A Louisville.

Also to keep in mind — Jeff Francis has looked really good this spring with a 2.77 ERA, no walks and eight strikeouts in four games (one start). Francis is scheduled to start Monday vs. Texas.

Closer Ryan Madson’s injury has changed things quite a bit. If LHP Sean Marshall moves up to the closer’s role, it’s possible that Chapman could be wanted as an additional lefty setup man. It wouldn’t be best for the long term future of Chapman, perhaps, but it would benefit the short term need for the Reds to win and contend this season.

Then again, could Bailey go to the bullpen?

“I don’t know,” Baker replied. “You’re asking questions that we’re trying to figure out.”

I’m sure Baker, Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty will be mulling these options over greatly in the coming days.

“Let us choose it,” Baker said.

Other items from a 6-4 Reds loss to the Giants.

*SS prospect Billy Hamilton came over from the Minor League camp and played shortstop later in the game. In his first plate appearance during the sixth inning, Hamilton walked and stole second base with an error throw sending him to third base. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Henry Rodriguez. Hamilton made a couple of slick plays at shortstop, but also had a fielding error in the eighth inning.

*Another player from the Minor League camp, Danny Dorn, slugged a three-run homer in the sixth inning.

*After Bailey struggled, LHP Clay Zavada took over and worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

*Joey Votto was 1-for-2 with a walk and reached on an error in the fourth. Votto is batting .161 this spring.

*Scott Rolen was 0-for-2, but was robbed of some RBIs when Nate Schierholtz made a diving catch on his drive to right field in the first inning.

*First pitch temperature: 81 degrees

Attendance: 4,638

11 Comments

I’ve always thought Homer Bailey had the stuff and velocity to be closer material. But I also wonder about his temperament and the mental aspect that seems required for someone to do well in that role. I say give him a shot at it and give Chapman the 5th starter role. If either doesn’t work out it should be quickly obvious. Your thoughts Mark?

Bailey has the stuff to close. If he could do it, it would solve the dilemma.

The Reds should have traded Bailey 2 years ago, he’s ALWAYS been overated. Now the Reds hands are tied. The only good thing that might come out of this , is that both Bailey and Baker will be shown the door, sooner then later, thay both stink!

Giving up on a 25 year old, you should be a GM.
Curt

The problem is that Bailey takes an inordinate amount of time to warm up. And,
with Madson down Chapman may be destined to return back to the pen. With
that said, I would hope that there is some way Chapman could start as a SP as
he seems to have found his control and is doing very well. A good lefty with his
talent is very hard to find. And to complicate matters further, I love what Francis
is doing this spring and he has proven before that he has some quality in him.
So what do we do? Watch em for another 10 days or so; maybe they will answer
the question for us.

They can’t keep jerking Chapman around…starter one month and reliever the next and vice-versa. Such inept handling will ruin the kid. Dusty will howl like the dickens for Chapman to come back to the pen but Walt needs to exert his leadership and authority here and tell Dusty to suck an egg. Chapman should have 2 more starts before Opening Day and if he does well he should be in the rotation. Put Homer and/or Francis in the pen. If Arroyo struggles, move him to the pen and insert either Bailey or Francis into the rotation.

If they chapman to the bullpen, jocketty and baker are making te wrong move, put francis as set up and bailey as a “mop up” reliever.

baker is a idiot if they move chapman to the ‘pen.

wrong Dusty, Bailey doesnt have it. Chapman does. Francis would make a excellent set up if he falters then move chapman.

Keep Chapman in the rotation, move Bailey to long relief, and use Masset as your closer. With his stuff and this being the last year of his contract he is going to have a good year.

Put Chapman in the rotation, Bailey in long relief and use Masset as the closer. Masset is going to have an outstanding year with this being his contract year.

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