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