Homer Bailey to come off DL, rejoin Reds’ rotation Thursday

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Out since mid-March with a shoulder injury, Homer Bailey is scheduled to come off the disabled list Thursday and start against the Astros.

Bailey also missed a big chunk of last season with shoulder problems, but when healthy posted a 4.46 ERA and 100/46 K/BB ratio in 109 innings to finally show some of the promise that made him the seventh overall pick in the 2004 draft and one of Baseball America‘s top 10 prospects in both 2007 and 2008.

Despite seemingly being around forever Bailey is still just 25 years old and his return to the rotation will bump Sam LeCure to the bullpen after he filled in with a 4.79 ERA in four starts.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: