Cincinnati Reds can never rely on Homer Bailey as a consistent starter again.

After a history of injuries and surgeries, the Cincinnati Reds can no longer rely on Homer Bailey again no matter how much they want to.

The Cincinnati Reds signed Homer Bailey to a big money contract and have watched him fall apart.  Bailey has only made eight starts in the past two season.  This is after the Reds signed Bailey as the pitcher likely to stay healthy over Johnny Cueto.

Now the Reds are in the same place as they were this time last season, telling the fans that Bailey is ready while wondering if it is true.  Bailey disappointed for the second season in a row in 2016.  He has become an albatross that the Reds can’t shake.

He is second to only Joey Votto in salary among Reds’ players.  Bailey also hasn’t been stretched out in a start since 2014.  The past two years he has  been lucky to get to the sixth inning.

Bailey’s injury in no small part led the Reds into starting Alfredo Simon 11 times in 2016 and into giving starts to Josh Smith and Keyvius Sampson.  This cannot happen for a team looking to turn the corner on the rebuilding process.  The Reds need to plan a rotation without Bailey.

The Cincinnati Reds have expected too much from Homer Bailey each of the past two seasons and it has cost them.

The Reds began this off-season actively looking for pitching depth.  This is a team full of pitching prospects.  That tells us all something about the status of Bailey and the prospects in the pipeline.

The Reds have three reliable starters in Anthony DeSclafani, Dan Straily, and Brandon Finnegan.  They also had Robert Stephenson penciled into the 2017 rotation.  That doesn’t leave much need for depth if Bailey were reliable.

Beyond the base four, the Reds also have Tim Adleman who demonstrated an ability to be a potential end of the rotation starter in Bailey’s spot at the end of the year..  The Reds also have Amir Garrett on the forty man rotation and ready to compete for a spot.  Garrett has passed Stephenson as the top pitching prospect in the Reds’ system.

Bailey could finally redeem himself.  He could come into the 2017 season ready to make every start for the first time since 2013.  He is only thirty, so he should have some gas left in the tank.

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The Reds need more from their most expensive pitcher.  They don’t have unlimited funds.  They need all of their big ticket players to contribute in order to compete.

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