Reds put LH setup man Bray on DL

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds put left-handed setup man Bill Bray on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained groin that has bothered him since spring training, another blow to their depleted bullpen.

Bray gave up four hits and three runs during an 11-1 loss to St. Louis on April 18. The move to the DL is retroactive to April 19.

The Reds already were missing closer Ryan Madson, out for the season with a torn elbow ligament. Madson rejoined the Reds on Tuesday for a brief rehab on his right elbow, which was rebuilt two weeks ago.

Madson said doctors think he can start throwing again in four months and he should be fully recovered in 11 months. He plans to do his rehabilitation in southern California — where he grew up — helped by the Angels’ training staff.

“Everything went well,” Madson said. “Everything was normal.”

Madson agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds after closer Francisco Cordero left as a free agent. Madson’s deal includes a mutual option for 2013 at $11 million, with a $2.5 million buyout.

Bray led the staff and finished tied for second in the National League with 79 appearances last season. He missed much of spring training with the strained groin, and made only five appearances before going on the DL.

Manager Dusty Baker said Bray aggravated the groin injury slightly during his appearance on April 18. The left-hander has been trying to get back in form after missing time in spring training.

“The last time he pitched on the 18th, it was better, but he still wasn’t Billy Bray,” Baker said. “It’s one of those things — when you start the season hurt, it makes for a long year. It’s tough, especially for a pitcher.”

The Reds called up right-hander J.J. Hoover from Triple-A Louisville. They got Hoover from the Braves in a trade on April 1 for infielder Juan Francisco. Hoover had four saves in eight appearances for Louisville without allowing a run.

Hoover made a good first impression in Cincinnati, throwing one hitless inning and striking out three during an exhibition game between the Reds and their minor leaguers at Great American Ball Park on April 3.