Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price did not get much of an opportunity to evaluate Homer Bailey during spring training due to a strained right groin which limited him to just three starts. But, Price does not put much stock in the exhibition season anyway.
“I don’t use that to make decisions,” Price said.
Stormy weather put Bailey’s season debut in jeopardy Thursday afternoon, but after a 3:42 rain delay, the 100 + million dollar pitcher made his much-anticipated first start, giving up four runs, two on Jhonny Peralta’s two-run homer in the second, on seven hits. He walked three and struck out three in a 7-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday afternoon.
“It just means the two and a half weeks without stepping on the mound came back to bite me,” said Bailey.
Price believes Bailey is fully recovered from the groin injury and had no reservations about sending him out to the mound in rainy conditions in Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals.
“We feel like Homer’s healthy,” Price said. “You’d always like to have pristine conditions to play on.”
Despite a limited sample size, Price, who served as the club’s pitching coach for four seasons before taking over for Dusty Baker in November, likes that Bailey has worked on his slider.
“He had a real good slider this spring, which is a pitch that’s been evolving for him the past few years,” Price said. “He just wasn’t as sharp today.”
Bailey will get a chance to redeem himself on his next start against the Cardinals, this time in St Louis next Wednesday.