Does spring practice guest Brandon Bailey stand a chance of making the Reds roster?

Brandon Bailey was taken out of the Cincinnati Reds’ 40-man roster ahead of the MLB lockout, but the right-hander quickly signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. What does Bailey bring to the table and does he really have a shot at making the opening day list?

Bailey was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. Bailey spent two years in the As organization before being sent to the Houston Astros. During his 2017 season with Affiliates Low-A and High-A of A, Bailey combined for a 3.26 ERA, 11.87 K / 9 and a 32.8% take-out rate.

During the 2018 season, as part of the Astros farming system, Bailey put on another solid season. The right-hander posted a solid 2.80 ERA and still had an excellent number of strikeouts. Bailey had a take-out rate of 10.01 K / 9 and 26.9%.

Bailey’s 2019 season hasn’t been his best, but former Gonzaga Bulldog has still had some good strikeouts. A K rate of 10.00 K / 9 and 26.7% is not to be despised, but its walk rate was 10.6%.

Brandon Bailey made his major league debut in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and appeared in five games outside the Astros box. Bailey worked 7.1 innings, posted a 2.45 ERA but a 5.51 PIF. He allowed six hits and two earned runs while hitting four and three hitters.

Bailey is an unconventional keystroke. The 27-year-old is only 5-foot-10 and typically works his fastball in the 90s. However, Bailey creates so much spin that his fastball has a lot of movement and will cause a lot of swings and misses.

The Cincinnati Reds reliever pen isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. It could be argued that at least three places in the pen will be open before spring training. The only pitchers virtually guaranteed a spot are Lucas Sims, Justin Wilson, Luis Cessa, Amir Garrett and Art Warren. Tony Santillan could also be added to this list.

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Brandon Bailey is recovering from Tommy John surgery, so it remains to be seen how healthy the right-hander will be when he returns to the pitch. Bailey has an outside chance to get the Reds roster out of spring camp and has two minor league options left.

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