Reds’ Homer Bailey is latest victim of Tommy John surgery


Cincinnati Reds’ starter Homer Bailey missed a good part of last season with a a right elbow flexor mass injury that he had surgery for in September. He started just 23 games for the Reds in 2014, pitching 145.2 innings and finishing the season at 9-7 with a 3.71 ERA.

So far in 2015 Bailey, who was still recovering from his September surgery missed a couple starts, and has started just two games for Cincinnati and pitched just 11.1 innings.

There was already a huge drop in his velocity from the get-go. He averaged 94 mph in 2014 prior to his injury and this season he was topping out at 91 mph. He collected just three strikeouts while walking four batters and allowing seven earned runs.

After his last start the Reds knew that Bailey’s elbow issue was a serious one and placed him on the 60-day disabled list earlier this week, but after consultations with multiple doctors Bailey was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and you know what that always means, yup, it means Tommy John surgery. The team says that Bailey’s two injuries are completely unrelated.

“After consulting with Dr. Kremchek and other orthopedic surgeons, we determined the best option with the most predictable outcome is to surgically repair the ligament,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Friday. “It does not appear the injury is at all related to the right elbow flexor mass injury Homer sustained late last season.”

Tommy John surgery has a recovery period of 12-18 months meaning that Bailey, like so many other pitchers before him this season will not play again until mid-2016. 

This is a shame for the Reds especially because prior to last season Bailey was beginning to near free agency so the team determined it would be best to sign him long term. Bailey was signed to a six-year $105 million contract. The Reds’ still owe Bailey $86 million on his contract that will be payed whether he plays or not. 

The Reds have called up right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who has taken Bailey’s place in the rotation.