CINCiNNATI — Don’t look for Homer Bailey to appear pitching on a mound near you any time soon. Probably not for a long time.
While neither the club nor Bailey will say it, the three words most dreaded by a pitcher, “Tommy John Surgery,” lurk as a possibility in Bailey’s immediate future.
The Cincinnati Reds put the 28-year-old pitcher on the 15-day disabled list before Monday’s game with a sprained right elbow ligament. That’s an injury that too often leads to Tommy John surgery to replace the ligament.
And the injury is unrelated to his previous surgery last year to repair a torn flexor muscle in his right forearm. That forced him to rehabilitate the forearm all winter and to fall behind during spring training.
HE MADE TWO STARTS in the last two weeks and when the elbow began to ache he underwent ultrasound and an MRI. It is believed there is a tear in the ligament. If Tommy John surgery is needed, rehab is usually 12 to 18 months.
TO TAKE BAILEY’S place the Reds called up Michael Lorenzen from Class AAA Louisville and he will make his major league debut Wednesday afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Manager Bryan Price and the Reds are extremely high on Lorezen, a 23-year-old right hander who played outfield at Cal State-Fullerton for eight innings and then trotted to the mound as the team’s closer.
“He has a big fastball and he can sink the ball and he has a true four-seamer that gets close to 100 miles an hour,” said Price. “He has a short little slider and a nice changeup.
“HE WAS A CENTER fielder in college and very, very good, a player some thought would be a high pick as an outfielder,” said Price. The Reds drafted him with the 38th overall pick in 2011 and immediately decided to turn him into a pitcher.
“He handles the bat, he runs well and he understands the game from both the offensive and defensive sides,” said Price. “And he has really good stuff. Now it is just the maturation period of learning to pitch at this level.
“There are certain guys who just get it, guys who understand baseball, they understand the position,” said Price. “And it probably doesn’t hurt that, like Mike Leake (shortstop), that he was an offensive player, a position player in college. It gives them an understanding of what hitters are trying to do.”
IF THIS IS TRUE, and it comes from a good source inside the Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse, I salute manager Ron Roenicke.
Even though his job hangs precariously, Roenicke showed some managerial guts Monday. On Sunday he had superstar/PED-user Ryan Braun in the lineup against the Cardinals. But Braun asked out of the lineup.
The Brewers beat the Cardinals without Braun, so when Roenicke made out his lineup card Monday to face the Reds, he left Braun out and said something like, “We did OK without him Sunday.”
Braun sat until there were two outs in the ninth and the Brewers trailed the Reds, 9-6, with two on base. Roenicke sent Braun up to pinch-hit against Aroldis Chapman and a home run would tie the game. Braun struck out.
ONE OF THE NEW concessions at Great American Ball Park is The Fry Box — French fries covered with everything but the kitchen sink, but it weighs about the same as the kitchen sink.
Stopped there this week and ordered the pot roast fries — fries, pot roast, melted cheddar, sour cream, banana peppers and maybe another two or three ingredients. It was a culinary delight, prepared by amiable Derrick Wilson, a man of many smiles. And the manager gave me the pot roast fries without charge before the gates opened. It is worth any fan’s