Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey’s recovery and rehabilitation from September surgery that repaired a torn flexor mass tendon near his right elbow had been a smooth process. That was until news broke Monday that Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Friday, with a right elbow ligament sprain.
Reliever Carlos Contreras was called from Triple-A Louisville to take Bailey’s spot on the roster. The Reds will have to name a starting pitcher to take Bailey’s turn on Thursday vs. the Braves at Turner Field.
Bailey, 28, was 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in his two starts after his activation from the disabled list on April 18. Prior to that, he had no setbacks as he resumed a throwing program and pitched in Minor League games.
The Reds have not named a starter to take Bailey’s spot for Thursday’s game at Atlanta. Raisel Iglesias’ turn in the Louisville rotation is currently listed as TBA on Thursday, so it’s seems like a good bet. But Iglesias also pitched 4 2/3 innings in a Sunday doubleheader.
The Reds enter this series with the Brewers in need some big offensive improvement. As I wrote after Sunday’s loss, the offense isn’t producing hits with runners on base, or enough offense in general. Manager Bryan Price tweaked the lineup some by moving Zack Cozart to the second spot, Joey Votto third, Todd Frazier fourth and Brandon Phillips sixth.
With his team two games under .500 at 8-10 going into the Brewers series, Cozart was optimistic that fortunes will improve. Although 1-for-8 in the past two games, he’s been one of the team’s hotter hitters with a .352 average (19-for-54) with four homers over his last 14 games.
“You see it around the league right now. An example is the Marlins,” Cozart said. “They were 3-11 and have now won five in a row. You get into hot streaks, you get into cold streaks. Right now, we have to find a way to get hits with runners on base. We’re getting guys on base. We just haven’t gotten that big hit. We’re going to keep attacking, keep pushing the envelope of getting guys on base, stealing bases and we know it will come around. We will get some big hits.”
From MLB.com’s Alyson Footer…
Reds manager Bryan Price anticipates working reliever Tony Cingrani into more games in the near future.
Cingrani last pitched on April 14 in Chicago. Tabbed as a long relief option, Price hasn’t pitched Cingrani in a lot of close games, but, “the time may have come now where regardless of who’s coming up, lefty or righty, he gets the opportunity,” Price said. “I think it’s time.”
When the Reds cut Sam LeCure near the end of Spring Training and sent him outright to Triple-A Louisville, the task was for him to get better fastball command. It wasn’t a popular decision with fans, especially as the middle of the bullpen has struggled to bridge games to closer Aroldis Chapman.
In his five games thus far at Louisville, LeCure has had decent numbers — a 3.68 ERA with three earned runs, four hits, three walks and six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. His opponents have a .160 batting average. On Thursday vs. Columbus, he gave up two runs and two hits over 1 1/3 innings.
What are the reports the Reds are getting behind those numbers?
“I think he’s doing a nice job of managing the games he’s getting into,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Our primary focus with Sam when he went to Triple-A was to get the fastball command back. in the second half of last year, it was more challenging for him. It’s such a big pitch – that two-seam sinker, comebacker that he throws. He was able to lean a bit more on the curveball and changeup last year. I think for him to be the impact pitcher he was for us in the past, the fastball command will need to come back in force. And I have not lost any optimism that he’ll be a part of this bullpen here over the course of the season. We certainly miss his influence.”
I’m back on the case tonight. First pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET
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I am off the rest of the road trip and will be back covering on Friday.
All the news and stories you need will be on reds.com/MLB.com.
First pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET
This will be Skip Schumaker’s first start of the season.