Reds taking the cautious route with Bailey

Reds taking the cautious route with Bailey

ANAHEIM -- The Reds now have a vacancy in their rotation for Saturday against the Cardinals, because it won't be Homer Bailey taking his usual turn. Bailey is still dealing with right biceps tenderness, but has made some improvement.

"He's gotten some of the biceps stiffness and tightness out, however we're trying to give him a couple of days of no throwing, just rehab therapy and cardiovascular stuff," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

When Bailey pitches next remains in question, but it might not be too far off if he keeps making progress.

"We'll find a way to make the rotation work to where we can slide him back in when he's ready, as opposed to setting a date where he'll definitely pitch on the third or the fourth or the fifth," Price said. "We're going to let how his arm feels dictate when we'll slot him back into the rotation. We don't expect it to be a long time, maybe one turn, maybe less, maybe a variance of that."

Bailey has pitched 3 2/3 innings combined over his last two starts, including one inning in Sunday's 11-2 loss at Arizona, where he gave up four runs and five hits. The club is proceeding with added caution because he is five starts into his season after returning from Tommy John surgery.

The Reds haven't anounced a replacement pitcher for Bailey, and Price did not reveal who the candidates might be.

"We'll make due with someone we promote or someone we currently have," Price said.

Rosters can expand on Thursday so the Reds could have an influx of choices. Keyvius Sampson has made a spot start before and pitched well in long relief during his last callup. Prospect Robert Stephenson has been inconsistent but made two big league spot starts in April. An in-house option could be Alfredo Simon, who pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief with two runs allowed in Monday's 9-2 loss vs. the Angels.

Simon was just activated from the disabled list on Monday after he had been out since June with a strained right trapezius. The club was pleased with his long relief work Monday.

September callup considerations:

The Reds have not telegraphed much of their plans for September callups but Price expected there to be two waves of promotions -- one group that can arrive before Friday's series opener vs. the Cardinals and the rest that come up following the end of Triple-A Louisville's season on Sept. 5.

Price noted that the expected number of callups was pared down after a recent set of discussions. The only pitchers with innings limit concerns at Louisville were Cody Reed, Stephenson and Amir Garrett.

"I don't think it's simply innings," Price added. "Some of it is timing, if they benefit from coming up and spending a month here, even if they're not guaranteed regular work or innings. I think that's probably more of an internal debate between our player development people and front office staff trying to define what's in the best interest of the club and the individual. At this point in time, I don't know who may be scratched off that original list that we had discussed last week."

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.