Per Jeffrey Flanagan, Homer Bailey is going to be joining the Kansas City Royals starting rotation to pitch against the Minnesota Twins.
This was always the plan from the end of camp. Even though Homer Bailey found himself assigned to extended Spring Training, the plan was for him to join the Kansas City Royals rotation when he was needed. That moment is now.
For those who are just tuning into the Royals, first of all welcome back! We missed you. But, you missed quite a bit. Bailey was traded from the Reds to the Dodgers, but as a condition of waiving his no trade clause, Los Angeles released him immediately. With them still on the hook for tons of money, Bailey came cheap to the Royals to get another chance to prove himself, but more on that is coming.
That was a brief synopsis out of the way, the question becomes if Bailey is still able to pitch. If Spring was any indication, he can. But, coming off a season where he went 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA and a 5.55 FIP, it is a valid concern.
He did have his struggles during Spring Training, as evidenced by his 4.05 ERA, but he was looking very good towards the end. In his last outing he scattered two runs over six innings with seven strikeouts. Keep in mind, that is good for a back end starter, and no one should be expecting an All-Star performance from Bailey.
When he was first signed with the Kansas City Royals, I looked into the chances of a bounce back season. It didn’t look amazing. However, there is no officially ruling out him being a serviceable arm to eat up innings.
At the end of the day, this was a mutual need that brought Bailey and the Royals together. Kansas City was looking for a cheap arm to fill out the rotation while the youth grooms, and Bailey needed a place to show he can still pitch after injuries have derailed his once promising career.
There was a chance for Bailey to opt out of the deal at the end of Spring, but he is still here. He is going to don a Kansas City Royals uniform. If the experiment doesn’t work, Bailey’s big money is coming from LA, so there is no burden on the Royals.
Either way, this will be fun. Bailey showed something in Spring, and if he can carry it over, then Dayton Moore will look like a genius for bringing him in. We will find out more when he squares off against the Twins.