Homer Bailey hurls six shutout innings subbing for suspended Johnny Cueto

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Johnny Cueto’s seven-game suspension meant he couldn’t make his scheduled start yesterday, so the Reds activated Homer Bailey from the disabled list to take his place and he shut out the Marlins for six innings in a 2-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
Cincinnati is back alone in first place despite being swept by St. Louis last week and the Reds’ rotation is looking stronger than ever with Bailey healthy for the first time since mid-May, Edinson Volquez showing positive signs in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Cueto’s suspension causing him to miss just the one start.
Not only did Bailey toss six scoreless innings, reach 95 miles per hour with his fastball, and retire the final 10 batters he faced after missing nearly three months with a shoulder injury, he handed out zero walks for just the fourth time in 47 starts.
Dusty Baker told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that Bailey “threw the ball great” and added that it’s “a great sign for us to have fresh arms like Homer and Volquez down the stretch” because “when everybody else is a little worn, they’re just getting revved up.” They may not have any room for Aaron Harang once he’s ready to come off the DL.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.