OAKLAND -- In the blink of an eye, Homer Bailey went from being 20 1/2 games out of a playoff spot to being tied for the second American League Wild Card position.
The 33-year-old right-hander was traded from Kansas City to Oakland on Sunday as the A's officially began their trade deadline maneuvering.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 14, 2019
"To go to (a team) like this, it's definitely an energy boost," Bailey said. "Guys who go to contending teams, maybe their game will elevate a little bit. It definitely brings in some energy that I haven't been a part of in a few years."
It's actually been more than a few years. The last time Bailey was on a team over .500 was the 2013 Cincinnati Reds. He's excited to finally be back in a playoff race.
"You see how competitive they are within this division and right there in the middle of everything," Bailey said of the A's. "The only thing I see is the record right now and that's just something that glares out. Obviously, the guys know how to win some games."
As for his performance on the mound, it's been a rough few years for the former first-round draft pick. Bailey finished the last two seasons with earned run averages of 6.43 and 6.09, respectively. He's been better this year with a 4.80 ERA and has enjoyed great success in his last eight outings, going 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA.
"It looks like the velo is up a little bit, he's got a good split, can pitch up and down," A's manager Bob Melvin assessed. "He's always been a talented guy. ... A lot of it has to do with just confidence. If you're feeling confident on the mound, that's a lot of the battle."
Bailey offered his thoughts on why he's pitching better of late.
"Just pitching a little bit better, having a little better gameplans going into it, preparation, and hopefully it will continue," Bailey said.
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Bailey will make his A's debut Wednesday afternoon against the Seattle Mariners. If he can continue his recent performance, it should help bolster Oakland's decimated starting rotation.
"I know he's excited about being here and we're excited about having him," Melvin said.