Sore biceps, ineffectiveness end Bailey's day early

Sore biceps, ineffectiveness end Bailey's day early

PHOENIX -- Homer Bailey may be back from 15 months-worth of Tommy John surgery rehab on his right elbow but Sunday's poor results showed that the Reds pitcher was not all the way back quite yet.

In an 11-2 loss to the D-backs, Bailey lasted one inning and gave up four runs (three earned) and five hits to fall behind by a 4-0 score. He did not walk anyone but also did not log a strikeout. It turned out he was dealing with tenderness in his right biceps.

"It's been like that for two starts now," Bailey said. "Obviously we can see that the results are absolutely horrendous. So we'll try to get this thing worked out for the next one."

In his previous start, an 18-9 loss to the Dodgers last Monday, Bailey was done after 2 1/3 innings with six runs and nine hits.

If there is good news to be had from this development and the results, there are no problems with Bailey's elbow itself.

"At this point in time, there is absolutely zero concerns on his elbow at all," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Through six starts following his return from the disabled list, Bailey is 2-3 with a 6.65 ERA. On Aug. 17, he appeared in peak form with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings vs. the Brewers.

"I know there's going to be peaks and valleys from this elbow injury," Price said. "The ball is not coming out [well]. You can tell the last couple of times out, it's just not the same. He's pitching at 88-91 mostly, trying to create movement, throwing two-seam fastballs. He doesn't really have the teeth on the slider. It's not as competitive as he needs it to be in order to go out there and expect to get big league hitters out with regularity."

One of Bailey's 34 pitches reached 93 mph and another reached 92 mph. Arizona hitters had little trouble making hard contact, peppering him with five singles -- including each of his first three batters. His seventh of the eight hitters he faced in the inning, Brandon Drury, hit a single that scored Jake Lamb for the four-run deficit.

Bailey batted for himself in the Reds' two-run top of the second inning but was pulled for Josh Smith, who opened the bottom half.

"It's not like you're going through a bunch of pain while I'm out there," Bailey said. "It's just frustrating that I can't get the extension and finish on pitches that you want to."

The next step for Bailey remains a fluid situation as the medical staff re-evaluates and treats the right-hander over the coming days. There is a chance his next turn in the rotation could be pushed back a couple of days, or he could be skipped.

"We have some alternatives now with the increasing roster [on Sept. 1]," Price said. "The next he will be scheduled to pitch, he doesn't have to pitch. We can pitch somebody else. We can skip him with the day off [Thursday]. We can make a few different things happen to get him extra time. He won't pitch again until he is ready to pitch."

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.