Feldman, Stephenson nearing return from DL

Price has a decision to make about rotation

Feldman, Stephenson nearing return from DL

CINCINNATI -- The Reds rotation could be overhauled this weekend with the return of pitchers Scott Feldman and Robert Stephenson. But it remains a fluid situation until both starters are activated from the disabled list.

Stephenson, who went on the 10-day DL with a right shoulder contusion after diving for a popup in his start at Pittsburgh on Aug. 2, can be activated on Sunday. Currently, Sal Romano is slated to start the series finale vs. the Brewers.

"Right now we're debating on when we will re-insert him. He is healthy now," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Thursday. "He threw a bullpen [Wednesday], and everything went fine.

"There are a lot of moving pieces in the rotation. If we get Rob back and if we get Scott back, how do we put together our rotation?"

The medical staff is still waiting to see how Feldman felt after he performed running and agility drills on Wednesday. He has been on the 10-day DL since July 18 because of right knee inflammation. Either Feldman or Tim Adleman will start on Saturday vs. the Brewers.

Stephenson K's Mercer

For Stephenson, he did not need a cortisone shot to get the soreness out of his shoulder and was able to feel better after rest and rehab. He felt mostly good throwing in the bullpen.

"Obviously, a little bit rusty. I hadn't thrown for a few days," Stephenson said. "I hadn't got off a mound in a week. But my arm feels really good, and the most important part is everything felt healthy. I'll have another bullpen tomorrow and try to knock some of the rust off and be ready for hopefully Sunday."

Stephenson, who is 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA in three starts since returning to the rotation, wasn't worried about the lack of certainty about when he might pitch a few days before a potential start.

"I'm just going to go ahead and get prepared like any day I normally would," he said. "One or two days isn't going to make a huge difference. If I have to spend an extra day just playing catch to get my arm ready, then that's another extra day where I'm a little bit more prepared for when I get to pitch."

Mesoraco returns, Bonilla to DL

Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco returned Thursday from the three-day paternity list after he and his wife, Kira, had their first son -- Luke Devin Mesoraco -- born on Sunday evening weighing in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces. The first-time parents and their baby are all healthy.

"She had him here. That made it easy," Mesoraco said.

The Reds' two other catchers -- Tucker Barnhart and Stuart Turner -- are also due to be first-time fathers later this month.

"It's pretty wild," Mesoraco said.

To clear a spot for Mesoraco, the Reds placed right-handed reliever Lisalverto Bonilla on the 10-day DL with right elbow inflammation. Bonilla last pitched on Sunday vs. the Cardinals and gave up three earned runs and four hits over 2 2/3 innings.

"He won't initiate any throwing until Monday at the earliest," Price said. "The MRI dictated he needed some time off."

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.