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Front Page: Homer Bailey Could be a Solid Upgrade to the Twins Rotation


The problem I have is that Homer Bailey's best is about a 3.50 ERA (that is the ceiling).  That means he is not all that much better than Gibson.  What is the floor?  If it is a 6.10 ERA, we probably can cobble something together with what we have to match that.  If he can eat some innings until Pineda gets back and not be terrible, maybe this is a deal that is worth it.  The problem is that this FO has caught lightning in a bottle a few times already.  Eventually, your luck is going to run out and you need to have the talent to win.

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*If* Pineda and Hill come back. Pineda has had 8ish good starts in the past 3 years. Absolute best case scenario is to get 80 innings out of Hill. And I'd probably take the under on that. As it has been with seemingly every single move this FO makes, I don't hate the Homer Bailey signing. Just not as the only addition to the rotation. This starting staff is one Jose Berrios elbow injury from being one of the worst in baseball.

I don't think the staff is nearly that bad, but even with a healthy Berrios, as things stand now, we won't be able to beat any other team in the post-season.

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If he loses the feel for the splitter, oh well. $7 million wasted and a handful of bad starts. But if he still has the splitter he's probably a 4 WAR pitcher this year and this turns out to be a jackpot signing. 

 

I understand the lack of a huge signing or trade is frustrating, but this isn't the place to direct that frustration. This was a good, well-calculated signing. 

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Well, I would have preferred to have Gibson back: Gibson is younger, has been healthier (despite last year's obvious struggles), and has been a bit better overall. Even when Gibby has been struggling he's been good at chewing up innings. About the only sure thing Bailey has going on is that he's cheaper.

 

Taking Gibson out of the equation, and Bailey is...fine? As a move to keep the floor of the rotation higher and have some insurance against someone like Thorpe not being ready or uncertainty about if/when Rich Hill is back, or how much time Pineda needs to get into game shape...sure. We've got a good pitching coach, his splitter is good, so it's a Martin Perez kind of move (which worked for a couple of month before basically falling apart). If that's the expectation, well ok.

 

I think I would have preferred Gausman and I definitely would have rather brought back Gibson, but with both of those guys off the table I like this as an insurance play. but to me, that really all it is: an insurance play for depth, against injury, against uncertainty, against youth, etc.

 

If he pitches like it's 2014 or the second half of 2019, it's a win. But expecting 2012 or even 2013 Bailey is unrealistic.

 

(Now, i will say that if you give 20+ starts to a guy whose ERA+ is 99 and he's your 5th guy? That actually ends up being pretty good for you for the regular season. I've said it many times and I'll keep saying it: one of the easiest paths to competitiveness is giving as few innings to terrible players as possible. Raising the floor is good, and the twins did a lot of that last year. Bailey might be a guy who keeps the floor fairly high. I expect no more from him, I'm afraid.

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