Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher will undergo Tommy John surgery and be out until sometime in 2016, the team announced today:
RHP Homer Bailey to have "Tommy John" surgery. Is expected to return during the 2016 season.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 1, 2015
Bailey made just two starts this season, allowing seven earned runs in 11⅓ innings pitched with four walks and three strikeouts. Bailey made 23 starts last season, posting a 3.71 ERA in 145⅔ innings, walking 45 and striking out 124.
Bailey signed a six-year, $105 million contract prior to last season, making him just the second pitcher with a $100 million contract to undergo Tommy John surgery after Mike Hampton in 2005, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.
The Reds gave 23-year-old Michael Lorenzen, ranked as the No. 63 prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus, his major league debut in Bailey's spot in the rotation Wednesday, and he allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings with a walk and five strikeouts. Lorenzen had a 3.13 ERA in 120⅔ innings last season at Double-A Pensacola with 44 walks and 84 strikeouts. He had a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings at Triple-A Louisville before his call up this season.
It does look like the plan for Cincinnati is to use Lorenzen in the rotation for the foreseeable future, though the team did use 25-year-old Raisel Iglesias in Bailey's spot when he missed a start earlier in the season.
The Reds are currently in fourth place in the NL Central at 11-11, and losing Bailey combined with using Lorenzen in the majors could push the team further toward a rebuild.
If Cincinnati does decide to rebuild and become a seller at the deadline, some intriguing pieces could be available for possible contenders, including Johnny Cueto, Brandon Philips, Jay Bruce and possibly even Joey Votto.