Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bailey Not Being Handled with Care

I posted last night and praised Dusty Baker for taking Johnny Cueto out of the game after 6 strong innings and just 93 pitches.  Not having access to anything more than game stats, I wasn't aware that Cueto was removed because of a blister.  I guess it may be too early to say that Dusty is handling him with care.

The criticism of Dusty in the past has been about his handling of young starting pitchers.  In Mike Leake, Cueto, and Homer Bailey, the Reds have three such pitchers in their rotation right now.  Baker has actually done a fairly good job limiting the workload of both Leake and Cueto, but Bailey has been something of a different story.  Other than one 118 pitch outing earlier this season, neither Cueto nor Leake has been asked to throw more than 113 pitches in a game in their short careers.  Bailey already has two games this year where he's exceeded 113, and that's in addition to the six he had last year.  Why isn't Dusty showing the same restraint with Bailey as he has with Cueto and Leake?  A quote from Mark Sheldon's blog gives some insight into Dusty's thinking about Bailey:
"That's why I left him in certain games, certain situations to help him get to this point of maturity to know the importance of this game, how to handle it and pitch accordingly," Baker said. "It's kind of felt like the making of an ace. That's what I told him. It's a big game for us and him. It's not do or die but it sure can take us a long ways and take his confidence over the top."
Dusty apparently feels like an "ace" needs to be able to work deep into games - even if that means throwing a lot of pitches.  Bailey may suffer for that mentality.  In fact, Bailey was removed from today's game a little while ago.  I don't know what the nature of the injury was, but it certainly didn't look like he was pulled for poor performance.  Hopefully this is a minor thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be serious.

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