Reds RHP Bailey close to return from disabled list

BY foxsports • April 19, 2011

Right-hander Homer Bailey thinks he could be back in the Cincinnati Reds' rotation after one more rehab start.

Bailey's pitching shoulder felt good on Monday, a day after he threw 62 pitches in five scoreless innings for Triple-A Louisville.

''It went pretty good,'' said Bailey, who allowed only two hits. ''I didn't feel any pain, which is plus No. 1. Early on I felt good. About the fifth inning, I felt pretty tired there. That goes with the territory of building up the pitches.''

The plan is to have Bailey make one more start in the minors and increase his pitch count, then make a decision about taking him off the disabled list. He and starter Johnny Cueto opened the season on the 15-day DL with shoulder problems.

''One more (rehab start) for sure, see how that goes,'' Bailey said.

The Reds have managed to stay atop the NL Central despite missing two starters all season and a third fighting the effects of mononucleosis. Bailey developed inflammation in his shoulder during spring training. Cueto got tightness in the shoulder. Bronson Arroyo was diagnosed with mononucleosis but has kept pitching.

Cueto also had a good rehab start for Louisville on Saturday, though he threw fewer pitches. The Reds plan to have Cueto make two more starts in the minors before activating him.

''Don't forget, we're not whole until we get those two guys back,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ''I knew it was going to be a tough period of time, even though we've started off well, until we get those two back.''

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