Straily tapped to open series vs. D-backs

Weekend starters are yet to be named

Straily tapped to open series vs. D-backs

CINCINNATI -- Aware that he and pitching coach Mack Jenkins have been deliberate about deciding who will pitch in the next series vs. the D-backs, Reds manager Bryan Price had some fun with the white board in his office on Tuesday.

Listed as Cincinnati's starting pitchers were: (Gary) Nolan, (Don) Gullett and (Jack) Billingham. Arizona, which also has yet to name its pitchers, had (Randy) Johnson, (Curt) Schilling and (Todd) Stottlemyre written down by Price. Of course, those are all retired pitchers.

Price did reveal that Dan Straily would start for the Reds on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday's pitchers were still "TBA."

"In short order, we'll have a rotation after that. One of those next two will be [Brandon] Finnegan," Price said. "No desire to be coy, but we just want to make sure we do it right."

The scheduling is fluid because it's still being determined when Homer Bailey will return from his rehab assignment for Tommy John surgery. Bailey is scheduled to make his fifth start for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. That return date could affect if or when a spot starter takes the place vacated by the demoted John Lamb.

A veteran, Straily is someone who is least affected by the situation or by having to pitch on normal rest after Thursday's scheduled off day for the team. On Sunday, during the Reds' 1-0 win over the Brewers, Straily allowed three hits over seven innings with 99 pitches for a no-decision.

"We are coming off a nice [All-Star] break, which is wonderful, " Price said. "I think when you have [Anthony] DeSclafani and Straily going and ... pitching every fifth day and periodically getting an extra day is a nice thing, but it's not, to me, nearly as critical as making sure that [Cody] Reed and Finnegan get those extra days. Not just for rest, but also for extra days with Mack and in the bullpen working on their deliveries and getting things ironed out."

Worth noting
• Reds shortstop Zack Cozart was named Tuesday as the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award recipient. The award, determined by votes from retired players, "honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game."

"When you're recognized by people who have been out there and played every day, and they know what it takes to go through the daily grind not only physically but mentally, it makes it pretty special," Cozart said. "I'm honored to be a part of it."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.