Bailey nears return from DL

Right-hander scheduled to pitch Sunday in Louisville

Bailey nears return from DL

CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Homer Bailey pitched in a simulated game on Monday in Arizona and was headed back to Cincinnati on Wednesday to prepare for the next step in his comeback from flexor mass tendon surgery.

Bailey threw 75 pitches over the equivalent of five innings at the team's spring complex in Goodyear, Ariz.

"My understanding is it went really well," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Before he can be activated from the 15-day disabled list, Bailey is expected to get at least one more tune-up. That is scheduled for Sunday, tentatively with Triple-A Louisville. He threw in three Minor League games against Triple-A hitters at Spring Training.

"There's a chance, if the weather is not looking terribly promising, it could be someplace else; it's hard to say," Price said of Sunday's plans. "We'd like to ensure that he's going to pitch and get his equivalent of innings and pitches."

If the start isn't with Louisville, it could be with Double-A Pensacola.

"This time of year, I don't know if there's a safe haven to send him outside of Phoenix to where you can anticipate it's going to be dry," Price said. "It will be a little bit of a crapshoot until we get to the last day or so."

Bailey had surgery on Sept. 5 to repair the flexor mass tendon near his right elbow. He's enjoyed a smooth recovery and rehabilitation without any setbacks to this point, and is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for 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.