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Bailey set to remain in Minors to regain form

Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Whether it is at Triple-A Louisville or elsewhere, Homer Bailey's Minor League rehab stint is expected to be a long one.

On Saturday night, Bailey allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits over six innings and 86 pitches in Louisville's 13-12 win over Norfolk.

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CINCINNATI -- Whether it is at Triple-A Louisville or elsewhere, Homer Bailey's Minor League rehab stint is expected to be a long one.

On Saturday night, Bailey allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits over six innings and 86 pitches in Louisville's 13-12 win over Norfolk.

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"The results don't look good statistically," Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. "Those that were there to see it saw some real positives and saw some things that need to continue to get better."

Bailey was placed on the 10-day disabled list June 2 with right knee inflammation shortly after he was demoted to the bullpen.

In his last start for the Bats on June 11, Bailey allowed five runs on six hits in three innings. His rehab process was paused when pain lingered in his right knee. That seems to no longer be an issue.

"His health is good," Riggleman said. "It's more about how the ball's coming out of his hand and the quality of the pitches. He feels pretty good."

The preference is for Bailey to pitch for Louisville, but the Bats hit the road for a seven-game road trip after Sunday. Those games are in close proximity, however, with three in Columbus and four in Toledo.

Bailey is 1-7 this season with a 6.68 ERA in 12 starts and a return to the big leagues does not appear to be imminent.

"It's going to be a lengthy rehab," Riggleman said. "He'll have another start in five days."

Riggleman or Rockne?
Riggleman has backed off the motivational speeches in recent weeks. But that doesn't mean he doesn't peek at the standings and offer reminders from time to time.

"I actually said to our club six weeks ago, let's go catch that fourth-place club," Riggleman said. "Then after that, let's go get that third-place club. It's fun to scoreboard watch and see what the club is doing ahead of you. I've gotten away from that lately as we fell down so far. As we've picked it up, I probably will start looking closer at that."

Heading into Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, the Reds have won six straight games and eight of 10 to climb within five games of fourth-place Pittsburgh and 8 1/2 behind third-place St. Louis.

"I talked to the club a great deal the first month, then mostly after games to review some things that happened to get their attention," Riggleman said. "I've gotten away from that lately because it's too much. It gets kind of like, 'Jim, again with the talk?' I kind of leave them alone."

Riggleman said he mostly allows the veteran players to police the clubhouse, mentioning Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett and Tucker Barnhart among those who've been good at getting their message across.

"The communication has been key," said veteran reliever David Hernandez. "Just holding each other accountable and just letting these young guys grow. Over the past month or so, we've definitely seen a difference in the ballclub."

The Reds were 28-30 entering Sunday's game since Riggleman took over when Bryan Price was dismissed on April 19.

"Winning some ballgames always makes people feel a little upbeat," Riggleman said. "The nature of the business is, you don't allow yourself to enjoy the wins as much as you agonize over the losses, that's just the nature of most managers."

Schebler back
Scott Schebler was returned from the bereavement list on Sunday where he'd been for the past three days. Outfielder Phillip Ervin was optioned to Louisville to make room for Schebler, who last played on Wednesday. Schebler started in right field on Sunday and batted leadoff.

Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey