He went so far as to elude that Bailey is rosterable.
...but Bailey bears consideration in nearly all fantasy leagues where you have bench space. Watch that start Saturday -- assuming he gets it -- and see what he's got. He might just be (finally?) ready to take the next step in his careerI'm here, as a voice of reason, to debunk this theory.
I jumped on the "Homer Train" back in 2007. It was a bumpy ride. In nine starts Bailey was 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA. I chalked the poor ERA up to the kid being 21-years-old. I blindly overlooked the fact that he only struck out 28 batters in 45.1 innings. He did all this while walking 28 batters as well. That should have been my first warning sign.
The "Homer Train" moved forward a bit more in 2008. I, once again, climbed on board. In Bailey's eight starts he went 0-6 with a 7.93 ERA. I didn't stay on the train for long as I finally noticed that he didn't belong in the big leagues. He only struck out 18 batters in 36.1 innings and still walked 17. I don't think I need to remind everyone that walking as many batters as you strikeout isn't a good thing at all.
Homer Bailey also has made one start in 2009. It wasn't pretty. He escaped with a no-decision, but Dusty Baker made the decision almost instantly to send the kid back to Triple-A. In his one start, Bailey walked six and struck out only three in 4.1 innings and came out with a 12.46 ERA.
As Bailey gets older, he's supposed to be learning his trade... mastering his skill set. However, in each year his ERA has gotten worse and he never has learned any kind of strike zone control.
Let me make a few more comments, further proving my point:
1. I'm tired of the argument that Homer Bailey "is only 23-years-old". Dude has been playing professional baseball for six years. I'm not asking him to become a Cy Young contender in that short amount of time, but I would like him to prove to me that he's progressing. He's failed at doing that.
2. I'm weary of folks saying that Bailey is tearing it up in the minor leagues. He's always fared much better in the minors than he has in Major League Baseball. Each season he does well enough to be promoted and stink up the Cincinnati mound for a handful of starts. This season, while at Triple-A, he has shown some performance improvements. This could be because of his new splitter he's been working on or he could be getting better. But remember, he's never, and I mean NEVER been able to carry over his success in the minors and pitch well in Cincinnati.
I'm avoiding Homer Bailey in every single league I'm in. I don't care if it's a deep mixed-league or a deep NL-only league, picking up Bailey from the waiver wire will only lead to heart break and inflated team ERA.
If Bailey can come up this Saturday or sometime soon and pitch well for the rest of the season, maybe I'll consider adding him to draft lists in 2010. Here's what it's going to take:
1. A sub-four ERA or something close to make me consider that move.
2. Bailey is going to have bring his strikeout to walk ratio up considerably. I'm talking above two, maybe even closer to three. His current standard of one walk for every strikeout is not going to cut it.
3. He's going to have to stay healthy. I want one start every fifth or sixth day from here until the end of the season.
I'm only asking for three things. That's not a lot to ask, is it?
Until I get those three things, Homer Bailey is fantasy irrelevant.