Bailey playing catch-up as camp opens

Reds pitcher recovering from September elbow surgery

Bailey playing catch-up as camp opens

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The health of several Reds players will be a prime story throughout Spring Training, with the status of pitcher Homer Bailey being near the top of the list.

Bailey had surgery on Sept. 5 to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his elbow. He's satisfied with his progress but admitted Wednesday to being behind his usual routine entering camp.

"I haven't gotten off the mound," said Bailey, who was among Reds pitchers and catchers who reported on the first day of camp. "Usually, l like to get off the mound a few times before I come. But I can catch back up real quick. It's more getting used to the throwing everyday stuff."

Bailey, 28, was 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 23 starts last season after making his final start on Aug. 7. He walked 45 and struck out 124 in 145 2/3 innings but had back-to-back 200-inning seasons in 2012-13 and pitched two no-hitters.

Entering the second year of his six-year, $105 million contract, Bailey was pleased that there have been no setbacks to this point.

"Everything has been pretty good," Bailey said. "I was kind of going at a really good pace. Right before I came here, I backed off for about a week just thinking, 'you know what? I'll just wait until I get there and let everything cool down a bit.'"

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.