CINCINNATI -- Whatever Reds starter Homer Bailey felt in his right shoulder, even if insignificant, had to be treated as anything but. Bailey, who has undergone three elbow surgeries since August 2014, therefore exited what had the makings of a promising outing after three scoreless innings on Tuesday against the
CINCINNATI -- Whatever Reds starter Homer Bailey felt in his right shoulder, even if insignificant, had to be treated as anything but. Bailey, who has undergone three elbow surgeries since August 2014, therefore exited what had the makings of a promising outing after three scoreless innings on Tuesday against the Cubs before the Reds went on to a 13-9 loss.
Bailey reported feeling "an irritation" in the back of his shoulder and was lifted from the game as a precaution. During the top of the third inning, Bailey slipped on the mound while facing opposing pitcher John Lackey. Following Lackey's walk with one out, head trainer Steve Baumann and manager Bryan Price came to the mound.
"I kind of felt a little tweak, if you will," Bailey said. "Once they called out, the biggest thing I wanted to do was just make sure, 'Hey, let me throw a few pitches without a hitter in there.' I was a little unsure."
Bailey was able to continue after some warmup pitches and finish the inning. But after walking into the dugout, he and Price had a chat by the steps.
"He felt there was enough of a concern on his part. As soon as he had a concern, for me at that point there's no reason to even debate it," Price said. "If he had a concern over it, I had a mega-concern over it. We got him out of there."
Bailey gave up one hit and one walk to go with two strikeouts, and he left with a 3-0 lead. Kevin Shackelford entered for the top of the fourth inning in what began a rough night for a Reds bullpen that allowed all 13 Cubs runs, nine walks and two hit batters.
"To me, it was kind of one of those things where if I go out and I keep pitching, do I go to a point where I'm not going to make my next start or the following one?" Bailey said. "I'd really rather just finish this thing up right, take care of what we need to take care of."
For a pitcher who has known plenty of major injuries, Bailey and the Reds are keeping their fingers crossed that he has avoided another one.
"This is going to be a day to day thing," Price said. "We may know more tomorrow or the following day. Right now there is no intention of putting him on the DL."
Injuries have decimated the Reds' rotation. Earlier on Tuesday, Scott Feldman was lost for the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. And while promising rookie Luis Castillo is not hurt, he is nearly at his innings limit for the season. The club would like Bailey to get as many starts as possible to build some momentum for next season.
Bailey has endured inconsistency and struggles since he returned in June from an arthroscopic procedure on his elbow. He is 4-6 with a 7.99 ERA in 12 starts following his comeback from the Feb. 18 surgery.
All of the postgame tests on Bailey showed no serious issue and he will be evaluated. He was taking the latest setback in stride.
"I'm used to frustration at this point, so it really didn't get to me at all," Bailey said. "I'm pretty familiar with all aspects of injury at this point. Sometimes you just don't know. Could I have kept pitching? Absolutely I could have. But I really didn't know where it was at. To me, I've been down this road. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go two steps forward."
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.