Homer Bailey ready for another shot in Cincinnati?

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Homer Bailey has yet to experience any success in the majors, posting a
7.01 ERA over 18 starts in various stints with the Reds during the past
three seasons, and his stock and raw stuff have both declined since he
was considered one of the elite pitching prospects in baseball just a
couple years ago.

Bailey simply hasn’t been able to throw strikes to big-league
hitters, handing out 51 walks in 86 innings, and allowed six runs on
three hits and six walks over 4.1 innings in his lone start with the
Reds this season. However, since being sent back to Triple-A following
that ugly outing against the Indians on May 23 he’s been fantastic.

Upon returning to Louisville he added a split-fingered fastball
to his repertoire while going 5-0 with a 0.81 ERA and 40/10 K/BB ratio
in 44.1 innings spread over six starts. Of course, this is Bailey’s
third go-around at Triple-A and he has a 3.66 ERA with 237 strikeouts
in 268 career innings there, so his success of late certainly doesn’t
mean that he won’t implode again in the majors.

With that said, the Reds are in need of a starter for Saturday’s game
and Bailey seems like the obvious pick to face the same Indians lineup
that he struggled against last month. He no longer looks like a
potential ace, but Bailey is still just 23 years old and with 45 starts
at Triple-A under his belt it may be time to simply let him sink or
swim in the big leagues.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.