Game preview (8/17/16): Homer Bailey eyes building on best start in years

Overview: Homer Bailey looks to build on his best start in a couple of years. Keury Mella looks to do the same with his best start in a couple of months. Jackson Stephens looks to stay consistent, while Antonio Santillan and Rookie Davis eye improvement at a new level.


Miami at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Homer Bailey (2-1, 4.30 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 21 K, 5 BB)

Notes: Homer Bailey will make his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery. Bailey was strong in his first outing, but then did not have his best stuff against the Pirates in his second. However, in his last start, Bailey dominated the Brewers. Bailey went shutout innings and allowed just three hits. He also showed a drastic improvement with his stuff and struck out 11 batters.


Louisville at Indianapolis, 1:35 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Rookie Davis (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP, 6 K, 3 BB)

Notes: After a disastrous first Triple-A outing, Rookie Davis struggled again in his second, but limited the damage much better. He will make his third on Wednesday. In his first start, Davis lasted just four innings, and allowed nine runs on 10 hits. Five days later, Davis once against worked four innings, and allowed seven hits and three runs. In 18 starts with Pensacola, Davis posted a 2.72 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP in 96 innings of work. Davis had an extremely good month of July. For the month, Davis posted a 2.49 ERA and he struck out 24 in 25.1 innings of work.


Pensacola at Mississippi, 8:00 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Jackson Stephens (6-10, 3.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 115 K, 35 BB)

Notes: Jackson Stephens has been the model consistency for Pensacola this season. He has gone at least five innings in 21 of his 22 starts and worked into the seventh in his last four starts. In seven of his last nine starts, he has went at least six innings, with the other two being five-inning outings. In his last start, Stephens went seven shutout innings and allowed just five hits, while striking out 10. In three August starts, he has gone seven innings in each, allowing just 15 total hits and two runs while striking out 23.


Dunedin at Daytona, 6:30 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Keury Mella (7-8, 3.76 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 87 K, 53 BB)

Notes: Mella had struggled drastically entering his last start, allowing 38 hits and 18 earned runs in his previous five starts, spanning 26 innings. However, he was much better in that last outing, going six innings and allowing five hits and two runs, while striking out seven. It was the first time that he had allowed five or fewer hits in a game since July 7 and the first time he struck out more than five hitters since May 21.


Fort Wayne at Dayton, 7:00 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Antonio Santillan (1-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.93 WHIP, 15 K, 11 BB)

Notes: In his first three starts above Rookie Level, Santillan really struggled. In that first start, Santillan walked five and allowed four hits in 3.2 innings of work. However, he was much better in his second start, allowing six hits and two runs over six innings on August 6. He also struck out seven hitters, continuing to build on his success of being extremely strong missing bats with Billings. He reverted back in his third start on August 12, lasting just 4.2 innings, while allowing six hits and five runs. Walks have been the biggest bugaboo for Santillan with 11 in just 14 innings with Dayton.


Billings at Idaho Falls, 9:15 p.m. EST

Starting pitcher: Moises Nova (0-5, 5.40 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 31 K, 22 BB)

Notes: Two starts ago, it appeared that Moises Nova’s season was on the uptick, as he worked into the fifth for the second straight time, and first since his first start of the season. He also broke a string of allowing four hits in back-to-back starts, and has allowed five total in his last two. However, in his last start, he was only able to retire one batter in the first. He allowed three hits, three runs, and walked two. The main issue has been the walks. He has 11 free passes in his past five outings.


AZL Reds

The AZL Reds are off on Wednesday and return to action on Thursday.

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