Reds hope Bailey’s return gives rotation needed help

Published 12:37 am Friday, June 23, 2017

Jim Walker

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds’ starting pitching is hoping the cavalry has arrived.
Ripped by injuries to three starters dating back to spring training, the Reds should be getting two starters back beginning on Saturday when Homer Bailey makes his first appearance since early last season while Brandon Finnegan could return as early as Tuesday.
Bailey had surgery in February to remove bone spurs form his elbow.
The hard-throwing right-hander has completed three rehab starts and a few bullpen sessions over the past three weeks and is expected to pitch on Saturday against the Washington Nationals.
“We can see if we can build on some consistency with our rotation and get the guys back in the rotation who we know are going to be there,” said Reds’ manager Bryan Price. “(Bailey) is certainly one of them. And we can start to get some fluency and start knocking out some consistent starts.”
In a start on Monday at Class Triple-A Louisville, Bailey threw 91 pitches as he worked 5.2 innings with six strikeouts. In three rehab starts, Bailey was 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA.
Bailey was 2-3 last season with a 6.65 earned run average in just six starts. He worked only 23 innings before being sidelined by an injury. He struck out 27 and walked only seven.
Bailey, 31, was also hurt in 2015 and had just two starts totaling 11.1 innings. He was 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA. His last full season was 2014 when he went 9-5 in 23 starts with a 3.71 ERA and 124 strikeouts and 45 walks in 145.2 innings.
The Reds have been using 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo to fill a starting spot. Arroyo went on the 10-day disabled list on Monday.
Bailey had forearm surgery during the 2014 season and Tommy John surgery in May of 2015 before suffering bone spurs.
Besides Bailey, the hopes of Finnegan returning would be a shot in the arm to a starting rotation that has struggled all season.
Finnegan began the season with some impressive work before he strained his left trapezius muscle. He was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts.
After missing nearly two months, Finnegan began a minor league rehab assignment on June 11 and pitched a combined seven scoreless innings in two starts with Class Double-A Pensacola.
“I’m about to find out. They told me all they wanted me to do was get up to five innings and I’ve done that. I’ve done my job. Hopefully, that’s it,” said Finnegan.
“I’d assume I will join (the team) in Washington or whenever I’m scheduled to start again. The lat is fine. There hasn’t been anything wrong with my lat since I started throwing again.”
Finnegan — who said he must receive final word before returning to the Reds’ active roster — was acquired from the Kansas City Royals along with pitchers Cody Reed and John Lamb for Johnny Cueto.
The Reds will start Luis Castillo on Friday and Scott Feldman on Sunday against the Nationals.

Email newsletter signup