GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey seems likely to open the season on the disabled list, but still keeps progressing well in his rehab from surgery.
On Saturday morning, Bailey faced hitters for the first time and threw 30 pitches in live batting practice against teammates Kyle Skipworth and Chris Dominguez.
"He looked good," Dominguez said after the session ended.
More importantly, Bailey felt good. He is trying to come back from a September operation that repaired a torn flexor mass tendon near his right elbow.
"It went fine," Bailey said. "There is still work to be done. It's not like we're going to go out there and throw seven innings yet. There were good points and bad."
Bailey wasn't thrilled with all of his mechanics but pleased overall. He wasn't expecting too much from the session, which is scheduled to be the first of two live BPs.
"You just go out there and throw, and pitch, and see how it reacts -- if you feel less discomfort or more discomfort. That's kind of your telltale sign right there," he said.
Bailey called the discomfort he felt "minimal."
The Reds hoped that Bailey can advance to pitching in an actual game after another live BP, but the right-hander wasn't ready to look too far ahead.
"We're going to have to see how we recover from it," Bailey said. "I will listen to the trainers and the people who are in charge of that."
Reds manager Bryan Price isn't counting on Bailey to begin the season on time. The rotation already had two open spots entering camp but will likely need a third starting pitcher to make the team and fill in for Bailey.
"Homer may not be ready until the middle of the month if he follows the throwing protocol that we currently have him on, although he's progressing rapidly," Price said. "We'll have [Johnny] Cueto and [Mike] Leake and we may need a fifth starter to possibly make one or two starts."
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.