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Rehabbing Garrett inching closer to return

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- On the whiteboard in his office, Reds manager Bryan Price had four blank spaces to denote who his starting pitchers are for the upcoming four-game series vs. the Cardinals that begins on Monday.

The status of rookie left-hander Amir Garrett has much to do with the fluidity.

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CINCINNATI -- On the whiteboard in his office, Reds manager Bryan Price had four blank spaces to denote who his starting pitchers are for the upcoming four-game series vs. the Cardinals that begins on Monday.

The status of rookie left-hander Amir Garrett has much to do with the fluidity.

View Full Game Coverage

"We're going to define our best rotation, and when Amir is back in, that will set all the other pieces in place," Price said prior to the series opener vs. the Braves on Friday.

Garrett is eligible to return from the 10-day disabled list on Sunday after being out with right hip inflammation. On Thursday, with pitching coach Mack Jenkins supervising, Garrett threw a 30-35-pitch bullpen session. On Friday, he was long tossing from up to 120 feet.

"I feel I'm ready to go, but it's not up to me. It's up to them and how they figure it," Garrett said. "But I feel good and the bullpen was really good. The ball was coming out live. I felt like myself and that's a step in the right direction."

Price expects Garrett to start one of the games against St. Louis, if there are no sudden setbacks.

"I look forward to talking to him after he plays his catch today, but it's possible he could be in the rotation over the course of these next several days," Price said.

Garrett is 3-3 with a 6.00 ERA in eight starts and 45 innings. His last two outings were poor performances, including May 23 vs. the Indians, when he allowed seven earned runs, seven hits and a walk over five innings in a no-decision.

Two days later, Garrett was placed on the DL. The injury had affected him in previous starts, but not to the degree it was against Cleveland.

"It was something that was always there, the discomfort, but it wasn't stopping me from pitching until it got to a point where I can't keep doing this. I had to take care of it," Garrett said. "I couldn't really extend and get out and finish my pitches on time. I was recoiling on almost every pitch. It was preventing me from having life on my fastball. It prevented me from getting out front and getting my pitches down how I want because I was popping up on every pitch and keeping stuff high in the zone."

Worth noting

• Reds pitcher Homer Bailey (right elbow) is scheduled to throw three innings on Saturday at extended spring in Goodyear, Ariz.

"We have three more outings scheduled before we consider if he'll be activated or not," Price said. "Where exactly those will be, when they'll be, we don't know yet. We'll get through that game tomorrow and verify if everything's OK and then we'll probably have a better idea of his schedule."

• Lefty reliever Tony Cingrani (right oblique) pitched a hitless sixth inning with one walk on Thursday in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. Price anticipates at least one more outing for Cingrani before the club decides whether to activate him from the DL.

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, Amir Garrett