Bailey hopes smooth rehab translates to productive debut

Bailey hopes smooth rehab translates to productive debut

ST. LOUIS -- Homer Bailey had the good fortune of having a smooth and setback-free rehab after a major operation on his pitching arm. Not all pitchers are that fortunate.

Bailey will make his season debut on Saturday afternoon, when the Reds play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. It will be his first regular-season start since Aug. 7 vs. the Indians. On Sept. 5, the right-hander had surgery to repair a torn tendon near his right elbow.

"It's great. It solidifies our rotation. We need him," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday. "We need him to be a performer for us. We need him to give us an opportunity to be a better team in this division."

Because of his rehab timetable, Bailey got a slightly late start getting off a mound in Spring Training. He was able to pitch in three spring games on the Minor League field and a simulated game after camp broke. On Sunday at Triple-A Louisville vs. Toledo, he threw 91 pitches over 5 2/3 innings without issue.

The Reds will announce a roster move on Saturday when Bailey is officially taken off the disabled list.

Price did not expect Bailey to have limitations heading into his start against the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez.

"He's probably not going to throw 125-pitch complete game," he said. "He's in the similar spot to where our other guys are. He's not going to be pulled after 75 pitches and five innings. He's done the rehab. He's thrown six innings. He's thrown over 90 pitches. He's right where we would have hoped he gotten to had he been healthy in spring training and getting ready for his first regular-season start. I'm glad he is where he is and back with us."

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.