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Rotation not out of question when Bailey returns

Reds' pitchers to stay on turn through next week's two off-days
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Injured Reds pitcher Homer Bailey threw from flat ground on Thursday. Up next for Bailey appears to be a rehab assignment in the Minors.

"Tentatively, he will be in a game I would say in the next four or five days," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "Where, I don't know yet."

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CINCINNATI -- Injured Reds pitcher Homer Bailey threw from flat ground on Thursday. Up next for Bailey appears to be a rehab assignment in the Minors.

"Tentatively, he will be in a game I would say in the next four or five days," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "Where, I don't know yet."

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Bailey was demoted to the bullpen last week after several poor starts in a row. But before he worked an inning in relief, he was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation on Saturday.

Riggleman said the club decided that Bailey would continue throw on the side and pitch in his rehab games as a starter to keep him stretched out and keep his innings built up.

"After he throws down there a couple of times, and we'll see how our guys are doing here, we might need him as a starter here," Riggleman said. "We'll just kind of see where it takes us, in terms of performances we get here, and see how he's doing there."

In 12 starts this season, Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA. Over his past seven starts, he has a 9.37 ERA.

Pitchers to stay on turn, including Romano

As Reds pitcher Sal Romano struggles to get back on track, he will not get skipped in the rotation amid upcoming off-days. Romano, who gave up five earned runs in five innings during Wednesday's 6-3 loss to the Rockies, will pitch again on Tuesday with an extra day of rest. With an off-day on Monday -- Romano's day to pitch on normal rest -- the club could have skipped him.

"We're going to line [Romano] up that way, because if we [skipped him], then somebody else would pitch without the extra day of rest," Riggleman said. "So we're going to give them all the extra day."

Romano is 3-7 with a 6.23 ERA this season, and has a 10.72 ERA over his past five starts.

Speaking of off-days, the Reds have two next week that sandwich a two-game series in Kansas City. Riggleman isn't a fan of the added rest.

"A little too much for me," he said. "You always like to have an off-day, but this little stretch we're going through is a little more than maybe what would be necessary. The 31st of May, we were off. Counting that, and you get to June 30, that's five days off. That's a lot. For pitchers, it gets you out of your routine. It's the same for everybody."

Schebler squaring it up

Reds right fielder Scott Schebler has been on a tear lately, and he is also continuing his season-long trend of blistering baseballs. On Tuesday vs. Colorado, Schebler hit a solo home run that had an exit velocity of 110 mph, according to Statcast™, and traveled 424 feet to right field. For the season, he's 40th in the Major Leagues with a 90.9-mph average exit velocity -- an uptick from the 88.8 percent he had last season. The left-handed hitter is also barreling batted balls 11.7 percent of the time, up from 10.2 in 2017.

Video: COL@CIN: Schebler smashes a homer into the tunnel

"You just want to square it up," Schebler said. "It's something I've always done, hit the ball hard. It's more of an approach thing. I'm definitely not up there saying, 'I want to hit the ball 110 mph off of the bat.' I feel like when I came back [from the disabled list on April 20], I was barreling balls that were going right at people. This last little bit, they've been falling for me."

Schebler extended a seven-game hitting streak in Thursday's 7-5 walk-off win against the Rockies at Great American Ball Park after going 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI. He has a .277 average and a .348 on-base percentage -- which would be the highest of his career if he sustains it for the season. That's also part of his approach -- trying to be more selective.

During a conversation with hitting coach Don Long, Schebler was given a chart that showed where the pitches were that he swung at.

"I was swinging at the high pitches. Once you start chasing and you get into swing mode, you're chasing everything," Schebler said. "Even in BP, you can work on something like that. If I take a pitch in BP, I count that as one of my swings. It's an attention to detail, that's what it is. I feel like it comes from our skipper. He's a big attention to detail guy."

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.

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