Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Kansas City Royals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The TV show "Breaking Bad" introduced the concept of a "legacy cost" to its viewing audience -- a cost incurred in prior years either by different leadership or at a time when things were different. Bailey was the Reds' legacy cost last season. In previous years at least the Reds could credibly say that he was coming off an injury as a reason for hope or patience. That wasn't the case last season. He was the team's Opening Day starter and was awful again in 2018, got hurt midseason (this time with a knee injury rather than an arm injury) and balked at the idea of pitching out of the bullpen. Because of his cost, the Reds still felt compelled to roster him and roll him out every five days, but that ended in September, when he was on the active roster but didn't pitcher after Sept. 5. He's owed $23 million in 2019, but he likely won't be starting for a major-league club after he was traded and subsequently released by the Dodgers. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Royals in February of 2019.
Tosses two-hit gem
PKansas City Royals
April 13, 2019
Bailey (1-1) earned the win against the Indians on Saturday by allowing only two hits over seven shutout innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Bailey was able to channel his form from 2013 as he blanked Cleveland through seven strong frames to earn his first win since last May. The veteran right-hander has a 5.29 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 21:6 K:BB through his first three starts (17 innings), and he lines up to face the Yankees on Thursday.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .286 484 80 48 122 32 3 18
Since 2017vs Right .326 499 83 33 146 31 0 19
2019vs Left .167 41 15 3 6 3 0 1
2019vs Right .360 28 6 3 9 1 0 2
2018vs Left .313 235 36 18 67 13 3 13
2018vs Right .312 259 39 15 74 15 0 10
2017vs Left .277 208 29 27 49 16 0 4
2017vs Right .339 212 38 15 63 15 0 7
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 6.92 1.65 106.2 2 13 0 6.9 3.5 1.7
Since 2017Away 5.43 1.61 107.2 6 11 0 6.8 3.3 1.4
2019Home 5.29 1.24 17.0 1 1 0 11.1 3.2 1.6
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 6.66 1.73 48.2 0 6 0 5.7 3.7 1.8
2018Away 5.62 1.56 57.2 1 8 0 6.9 2.0 2.0
2017Home 7.90 1.73 41.0 1 6 0 6.6 3.5 1.5
2017Away 5.22 1.66 50.0 5 3 0 6.7 4.7 0.7
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Stat Review
How does Homer Bailey compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.3 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Homer Bailey
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Monday Picks
3 days ago
Mike Barner tees up Monday's Yahoo slate, which includes Clayton Kershaw's return against the Reds.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Double the Fun
5 days ago
Todd Zola's weekly pitcher rankings feature a number of solid two-start options, including Washington's Stephen Strasburg, who faces two the league's weakest lineups.
FanDuel MLB: Saturday Breakdown
5 days ago
Ozzie Albies, hitting against lefty Jason Vargas, should hit leadoff and has a .367 wOBA on the heels of a .384 number against lefties last year.
DraftKings MLB: Saturday Picks
5 days ago
Adam Wainwright may not have recently posted outstanding numbers, but Mike Barner believes he's worth buying against an offensively-challenged Reds lineup.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Saturday Picks
5 days ago
With Homer Bailey set to start for the Royals, Sasha Yodashkin encourages you to select a few Indians bats.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
After missing most of the last two seasons due to Tommy John elbow surgery, Bailey's 2017 campaign was delayed by three months when he needed surgery to remove bone spurs at the onset of spring training. When he finally came back, the results on the mound were pretty gruesome, highlighted by five starts where he gave up six or more runs, including a 10-run torching by the Cardinals. He ultimately finished with a 6.43 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. If you're looking for any signs of progress, he carried a 3.89 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over his last six starts. Bailey's fastball was not a positive pitch (11 runs below average), and his slider -- usually his out pitch -- also brought below-average results (5.6 runs below average). He's signed through the 2019 season, so the Reds will keep giving him chances to right the ship, at least as long as their younger alternatives appear not to be ready. Luckily you won't have those same constraints.
Bailey took longer than expected to return from Tommy John surgery, and then his 2016 season ended prematurely due to biceps tendinitis. Before the tendinitis kicked in, he had two encouraging starts, striking out 17 Brewers and Marlins over 11 innings. In his six starts upon his return, Bailey's fastball averaged 92.7 mph, slower than in his pre-injury form, but faster than when he was pitching hurt in 2015. The Reds have reserved a rotation spot for Bailey -- and well they should, given that there's still four years left on his $105 million contract signed in February 2014. Unfortunately, he won't toe the rubber for Cincinnati on Opening Day after undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow in February, so those who take a flier on Bailey will probably want to wait and see if he's closer to his old self following another operation before deploying him in active lineups.
The Reds didn't necessarily have a "Bonds vs. Van Slyke" decision between extending Homer Bailey or Johnny Cueto, but it essentially played out that way for them, only to see that decision blow up almost immediately. Bailey started behind schedule in 2015 thanks to a torn flexor mass in his forearm suffered in 2014, and then subsequently pitched with diminished velocity in two starts in April, after which the Reds discovered a torn UCL in his throwing arm. He had Tommy John surgery in early May and so far is on target in his rehab. The Reds hope that he'll be ready to return in mid-May. Typically pitchers coming back from TJS struggle with their command and control in that first season back, though he should be back close to full velocity in short order. He has five more years left on his contract, so it will be interesting to see if the Reds try to deal him if he demonstrates a full recovery, or instead feature him as part of their rebuilding process.
Did Bailey peak in 2013, or is there another level still left in him? The Reds bet on Bailey in the form of a six-year, $105 million contract, only to see him struggle early in 2014 and then end the season with a flexor mass injury that forced him to miss 10 starts. So far, he's serving as a cautionary tale against signing about-to-be free agent starters to a long-term contract, though there's still plenty of time for the rest of this story to be completed, and there were plenty of good indicators in 2014. After increasing his average fastball velocity in 2013, he was able to maintain that rate in 2014. Each successive month drew better results before his injury, too, as his BAA improved, so did his ERA and WHIP, significantly. Bailey's home ballpark may limit his ultimate upside, enough that he may never be a first-tier fantasy starting pitcher, but he might prove to be a bargain again if he shows up to spring training healthy. There is a possibility that he might not be ready for the start of the season, however, so he's one to watch closely this spring.
Bailey followed up his 2012 breakout campaign with an even better 2013 season, highlighted by his second career no-hitter. Even though it wasn't reflected in his record, Bailey improved across the board, posting a better ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate and home-run rate. The key for Bailey was a spike in his fastball velocity - after averaging 92.5 mph in 2012, his velocity rose to 94.1 mph in 2013. That translated into great results with that pitch (18.9 runs above average, according to Fangraphs). Bailey's name could come up frequently at the trade deadline this year if the Reds don't get off to a good start, as he'll be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.
Bailey finally had the breakthrough we've all been waiting for, making it through a full season unscathed for the first time in his career. He had a 3.21 ERA over the second half, also lowering his walk and home run rates, culminating in a no-hitter against the Pirates followed by a sterling start in the playoffs against the Giants. Bailey had a couple of extreme splits that might be bankable next season - at home he had a 5.16 ERA with 21 homers allowed in 99.1 innings, compared to a 2.32 road ERA with five homers allowed in 108.2 innings; he also had a 5.02 ERA during the day and a 3.23 ERA at night. Bailey is at the point where he'll start to get expensive for the team - this matters to you insomuch that the Reds have to decide if he has a long-term future with the team or if they should trade him before he reaches free agency. The latter could boost his value depending where he lands.
How many ways can we describe Homer Bailey's unfulfilled potential? It seems as if we could write similar profiles for him every year. Once again, he spent time on the DL with a shoulder problem. Once again, he was a little unlucky, with a 69 percent strand rate. He turned in a nearly identical ERA from 2010, while striking out one less batter per nine innings. And yet, and stop us if you've heard this before, he's still relatively young, turning 26 in May. This is a critical season for Bailey, as he'll start to become more expensive for the Reds, and they'll have to decide how much of a commitment they want to make toward him.
Bailey demonstrated some improvement in 2010, raising his strikeout rate while maintaining decent walk and home run rates. His overall record looks a little worse than it could have been, thanks to a 68-percent strand rate and a .321 BABIP against. Will it be enough to stick in the starting rotation? His spot is pretty tenuous, with Travis Wood, Mike Leake and perhaps even Aroldis Chapman battling with Bailey for the final two spots after Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. He has the talent to succeed, and he's still young enough to turn that talent into performance.
Investing in pitching prospects is often a matter of faith without evidence - there are times when you have to trust the scouting reports and pedigree and hope that the pitcher in question eventually fulfills his promise. Bailey is finally on that path, finishing the season on a 6-1 run with a sub-2.00 ERA. While many will point to his starts against the Astros and Pirates as the reason for his success, he also had great home starts against the Cardinals and Dodgers in that stretch. Furthermore, his velocity, often dormant in 2008, returned in 2009, as he frequently was clocked in the 95-97 mph range deep into his starts. There's enough here to believe that he's for real.
There's no way to sugarcoat Bailey's awful 2008 season - his 7.93 ERA accurately reflects just how poorly he pitched at the major league level. His fastball has lost a couple of mph from previous seasons, and he hasn't successfully adjusted to that reality. Still, Bailey has a lot of raw talent remaining, and he'll be just 23 in 2009. Patience should be the order of the day, both for the Reds (or a possible trade partner) and for you in dynasty leagues. Just keep him on your reserve roster as long as you can.
Many Reds fans will tell you that the Reds waited too long to call up Bailey, but the opposite is probably more likely to be true. Bailey had a hard time finishing off hitters, both in the majors and at Triple-A Louisville. He often struggled to command his offspeed pitches, and that lack of a second pitch led to his problems finishing off hitters. If you own him in a keeper league, don't get too discouraged - this is all part of the normal developmental cycle - we've just been spoiled by so many good rookie seasons the past few years. He'll likely start 2008 at the major league level as the third or fourth starter, barring a spring training collapse.
Bailey's timetable to reach the majors got accelerated following a superb 2006 season. After blowing through High-A Sarasota, he maintained his strikeout rate in Double-A Chattanooga while keeping his walks and hits allowed down. Reds GM Wayne Krivsky has said that he intends to have Bailey begin the year at Triple-A Louisville, and there are good reasons (both developmental and financial) to do so. Don't be surprised if he's not up until midseason, no matter how good he looks (and how poor the Reds' fifth starter alternatives appear) this spring.
The Reds' first-round pick in 2004 showed glimpses of potential in 2005 at Low-A Dayton, but he's still a long-term project. His strikeout and hit rates are both impressive, but his command (particularly of his curveball) is lacking. Don't expect him to reach the majors in any significant capacity until 2008.
The Reds first-round draft pick and the number seven player drafted overall, Bailey was considered to be the high school pitcher with the most upside in the 2004 draft. He was used sparingly after signing with the team and is on a long developmental track. His selection was a bit of a surprise, given the Reds' brutal history with high school pitchers taken in the first round (Chris Gruler, Jeremy Sowers, Ty Howington).
Has a smooth, easy motion that belies an explosive mid-90s fastball and a quality curveball. Needs to further develop a changeup and like most high school pitchers, hasn’t yet been tested. From the ranks of the Texas high school system, he's considered the next Josh Beckett by most of the Lone Star faithful.
More Fantasy News
Allows three homers in loss
PKansas City Royals
April 8, 2019
Bailey (0-1) yielded seven runs on eight hits and two walks, taking the loss against Seattle on Monday. He struck out seven and allowed three home runs.
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Fans eight in 2019 debut
PKansas City Royals
April 3, 2019
Bailey didn't factor into the decision Wednesday, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks over five innings while striking out eight in a 7-6 loss to the Twins.
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Officially added to roster
PKansas City Royals
April 3, 2019
The Royals selected Bailey's contract ahead of his scheduled start Wednesday against the Twins.
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Tabbed as Wednesday's starter
PKansas City Royals
April 2, 2019
Bailey will be called up to start Wednesday's game against the Twins, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
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Sticking in minor leagues
PKansas City Royals
March 28, 2019
The Royals reassigned Bailey to the minor leagues Thursday.
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