Homer Bailey starts against the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon and after he’s gone through the first four hitters in the lineup, he’ll have had a unique experience.
Earlier this week, C.C. Sabathia had the chance to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays, and more specifically against Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The veteran left-hander admitted that it was strange competing against the son of a man he had squared off against so many times earlier in his career, and he even indicated it might be “time to go home” when these kids are arriving at the highest level.
Sabathia isn’t the only pitcher who will go through that experience this season, as Homer Bailey will be the next veteran to look in and see a second generation player at the plate. Only in Bailey’s case, he’ll have the same feeling looking at Cavan Biggio that he will with Vlad Jr.
According to a tweet from Sportsnet’s Ben Wagner, when Bailey starts later today he’ll be the first pitcher to face both Biggio, Guerrero Jr., and their fathers. Sabathia never got the chance to pitch against Craig Biggio, Cavan’s Hall of Fame father, so the experience is extra unique for Bailey who will start for the Kansas City Royals.
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Bailey will hope that he can have the same type of luck that he did against their fathers, even if the sample size is pretty small.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. squared off against Bailey six times over the course of his Hall of Fame career, and went just 1-6 with an RBI and two strikeouts. He had just one single, and managed his RBI on a sacrifice fly in their limited match-ups.
The body of work is even smaller against Craig Biggio, but in the three times they faced off Bailey managed to hold him without a hit, going 0-1 with a walk, and a sacrifice fly as well. I realize it was only nine at-bats between the two Hall of Famers, but all things consider I would say that Bailey held his own.
We’ll see if he can do the same against the second generation of these families, and we’ll find out later on today. Guerrero Jr. has been slotted as the designated hitter while Brandon Drury covers him at third base, and Biggio is hitting fourth and playing second base.
This may very well end up as Bailey’s only chance to pitch against these future stars, as his own career is arguably winding down. The 33-year-old is 7-6 this year for the Royals, posting a 4.61 ERA and a 1.375 WHIp through 16 starts.