Phillips nearing return from strained right calf

Second baseman also dealing with fractured left hand

Phillips nearing return from strained right calf

CINCINNATI -- Although Brandon Phillips missed his second straight game with a strained right calf on Sunday, the Reds may have their regular second baseman back in the lineup soon.

Reds manager Bryan Price said Phillips has improved since injuring his calf on a swing in the sixth inning of Friday's game against Milwaukee and participated in baseball activities before Sunday's series finale. Price is optimistic that Phillips could return to the lineup when the Braves come to town on Monday.

"He's better yesterday than he was the day before," Price said. "He won't be in the lineup today. We'll do some baseball activity to see if he can help us in some capacity today. Hopefully he'll be ready by tomorrow."

Phillips was already playing with a fractured left hand that he suffered when hit by a pitch on July 10 against Miami. He's currently on a 56-game, 222 at-bat homerless streak, the longest of his career.

Phillips' two-run double

Worth noting

Caleb Cotham (right shoulder inflammation) threw 13 pitches in a one-inning shutout relief appearance for Double-A Pensacola on Saturday. He felt no discomfort in the shoulder or knee according to Price.

"[He] threw well, threw strikes, quick inning, no issues with the shoulder," Price said. "I got no negative response to pitching at all with the knee or shoulder."

Tim Adleman (strained left oblique) also pitched Saturday, throwing 63 pitches over four scoreless innings for Triple-A Louisville. Price didn't rule out the possibility of Adleman making his next start in place of recently optioned John Lamb on Friday, although he isn't ready to make a commitment on how that spot will be filled.

"If we needed a starter and could say, yeah, reasonable that he could go out and throw 85 pitches in a game and potentially throw six innings, he could be a candidate for that," Price said. "I think he's throwing the ball well. I think the other part of it is making sure that the oblique is healed and we don't make a decision out of necessity that could lead to a setback."

A.J. Morris (right shoulder strain) has resumed throwing and is working on building up arm strength. There is still no timetable set for when Morris might return to a mound, however.

"He had the shoulder issue that needed to be strengthened," Price said. "He's been invested in his throwing program, and we'll certainly get to that point where he'll get back on the mound. Once he crossed that hurdle, then we'll build a throwing schedule for him leading back into game scenarios."

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.