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Bailey due back Tuesday; what will rotation be?

Reds debating going with 6 starters; Ervin recalled for Schebler; Votto gets recovery day Friday
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Assuming there are no setbacks, the Reds plan to activate Homer Bailey from the disabled list for Tuesday's game vs. the Cardinals. What remains to be seen, however, is whether Bailey will be part of a five-man or six-man rotation.

Sal Romano is going to be available from the bullpen this weekend against the Pirates, but he could still start on Wednesday after Bailey. It will depend on if he's used as a reliever before then, and how much.

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CINCINNATI -- Assuming there are no setbacks, the Reds plan to activate Homer Bailey from the disabled list for Tuesday's game vs. the Cardinals. What remains to be seen, however, is whether Bailey will be part of a five-man or six-man rotation.

Sal Romano is going to be available from the bullpen this weekend against the Pirates, but he could still start on Wednesday after Bailey. It will depend on if he's used as a reliever before then, and how much.

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"He's the most useable guy in the bullpen, as opposed to the other guys," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said of Romano. "We can use him in the bullpen for a couple of days and then use him on that sixth day. The other guys, we were a little more reluctant to do that with. It's more that than anything [else]. He's been throwing the ball well. We're anxious to get him out there starting."

Video: CIN@CL: Romano strikes out Perez swinging

Bailey has been out with right knee inflammation since June 2. He made his last big league start May 28 vs. Arizona and is is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA in 12 starts this season. The club planned on moving him to the bullpen before the injury and had him try a relief appearance during his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville, before reversing course.

In his sixth start for Louisville on Wednesday, Bailey pitched seven scoreless innings with four hits, three walks and three strikeouts while throwing 110 pitches vs. Rochester. In the start before that, he notched 10 strikeouts over six innings while allowing four earned runs.

"The report was really positive on what he did," Riggleman said.

Bailey, 32, is making $21 million this season, and is owed an additional $23 million for '19. He has a $25 million club option for '20 that has a $5 million buyout.

Riggleman plans to have Luis Castillo start the series opener vs. St. Louis on Monday, after Tyler Mahle, Anthony DeSclafani and Matt Harvey work the series vs. Pittsburgh.

Harvey, of course, is front and center in Reds trade rumors leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Even if Cincinnati has a six-man rotation, it might not be for very long, depending on what the club decides to do in the trade market.

Ervin recalled
The Reds recalled outfielder Phillip Ervin from Louisville on Friday to take the roster spot of Scott Schebler. The right fielder was placed on the 10-day DL on Thursday with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. The move was retroactive to Sunday.

"He's feeling much better," Riggleman said. "And really, because of the four-day All-Star break and not playing the last game Sunday, that's five of the 10 days right there. I don't think he would have been ready to play today, but he's not far away. I don't think it will be much more than the 10 days."

Ervin opened this season on the big league club and batted .205 in 19 games. He returned for three days in June while Schebler was on the bereavement list, but did not play. In 48 games for Louisville, Ervin batted .289 with five home runs and 38 RBIs.

Video: CIN@PHI: Ervin ties it late with a clutch single

"He sat a lot here, just like [Brandon] Dixon did. They needed to go down and play," Riggleman said. "Dixon's doing well down there now. Phil was doing well down there. Instead of letting them sit too much, let them go down and they can come up and help us."

Votto enjoyed sixth All-Star experience
On the first day of the second half, Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto was out of the starting lineup. It wasn't because of an injury.

"I could use a little bit of a breather," Votto said.

"Give him a break after all of the travel and hoopla and everything that took place in Washington and the travel out of there," Riggleman said.

Votto snapped a 0-for-12 mark in All-Star Game at-bats Tuesday with a 10th inning solo home run for the National League in an 8-6 loss to the American League. It was a Scooter Gennett two-run homer in the ninth that forced extras and gave Votto a third chance to bat in the game.

Video: 2018 ASG: Votto crushes solo homer in the 10th inning

"It was a cool experience all the way around," said Votto, a six-time NL All-Star. "I get real excited getting picked for the All-Star team and being on the bench when Scooter had that big moment in the ninth inning. I think most guys in here that play with him on a daily basis, we weren't surprised. It was really a fun game."

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey, Phillip Ervin, Joey Votto