Report: Homer Bailey, Edwin Jackson Expected to Play for USA in Olympic Qualifiers

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

Minnesota Twins pitcher Homer Bailey throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Free-agent MLB pitchers Homer Bailey and Edwin Jackson are reportedly "expected to play" for the United States in the Olympic qualifying games, per Jon Morosi of the MLB Network.

The United States is set to face Nicaragua on May 31, the Dominican Republic on June 1 and Puerto Rico on June 2 in Group A play.

Group B is comprised of Canada, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela.

The top two teams from each group will advance to a super round, with the winner of that round qualifying for the Olympic tournament alongside Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea.

The second- and third-place teams from the super round will play in a final qualifying round with Australia, China, Netherlands and Taiwan.

As for the Olympic roster itself, only players who aren't on an MLB team's 26-man roster or injured list will be eligible.

Bailey, 35, last pitched for the Minnesota Twins in 2020, going 1-0 in two starts with a 3.38 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and seven strikeouts in eight innings. That followed a tough stretch between the 2015 and 2019 seasons that saw Bailey's ERA finish above the 6.00 mark in three seasons and never settle lower than the 4.57 mark he posted in 2019.

Jackson, 37, was an All-Star in 2009. He last pitched in 2019 for the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, going 3-10 between the two teams with a 9.58 ERA, 2.02 WHIP and 52 strikeouts in 67.2 innings (13 starts, 18 total appearances).

Baseball is back on the Olympic docket for the first time since 2008, when South Korea took home the gold medal. The United States won gold in 2000.