Bailey feels good after three-inning Minors start

Right-hander tosses 41 pitches, strikes out four in Triple-A game

Bailey feels good after three-inning Minors start

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Facing Minor League batters for the second time in spring on Friday, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey worked three innings in a Triple-A game.

Bailey allowed one earned run and three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Of his 41 pitches, 25 were strikes.

"[It felt] pretty good," Bailey said. "We were able to get our three innings in under 45 pitches, bounce back between innings fairly well, things were on the right track."

Temperatures were hotter than usual for this time of year in Arizona, topping out in the mid-90s, but feeling warmer. Bailey liked the heat, however.

"It's easier to loosen up, stay loose during innings," he said. "You're sweating, so you're fresh as opposed to chilling down when you get in the dugout."

Bailey had a shaky first inning that lasted 20 pitches and was stopped after two outs since the Reds can control the rules in a Minor League exhibition game. He had given up a run, two hits and a walk during the inning.

"I think Homer's first inning he was up," said Reds manager Bryan Price, who watched the outing next to general manager Walt Jocketty. "He made a good adjustment going into the second inning and threw the ball much better. I thought he looked terrific."

Bailey on his recent outing

In his first start on Sunday, also a Triple-A game, Bailey gave up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

Bailey has been working his way back since he had September surgery to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his elbow. Everything has proceeded on track without setbacks, including after he started working from a bullpen mound last month. He is slated to work another Minor League game on April 1.

At this point, Bailey could miss a couple of starts when he begins the regular season on the disabled list.

"I think that's the biggest thing, even though coming back from an elbow surgery, I'm more in the mindset of getting ready for a season," Bailey said. "My elbow's felt really good the last couple of times out -- not that I've dismissed it, but my main focus is getting ready for the season now."

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.