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Inbox: Can the Reds depend on Bailey?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans
MLB.com @m_sheldon

What can the Reds expect from Homer Bailey?
-- Charlie on Facebook live

It's a good question. Bailey will be activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday to make his season debut vs. the Nationals. He's a bit of an X-factor, because it's hard to place high expectations on someone who has had three elbow surgeries and only eight starts since August 2014. The last surgery was Feb. 18 to remove bone chips. But based on his rehab assignment numbers, they should expect some length and dependability. The rotation has averaged 4.93 innings per start this season. If Bailey can just go six or seven innings and keep the team in the game, the lineup should be able to do its part.

What can the Reds expect from Homer Bailey?
-- Charlie on Facebook live

It's a good question. Bailey will be activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday to make his season debut vs. the Nationals. He's a bit of an X-factor, because it's hard to place high expectations on someone who has had three elbow surgeries and only eight starts since August 2014. The last surgery was Feb. 18 to remove bone chips. But based on his rehab assignment numbers, they should expect some length and dependability. The rotation has averaged 4.93 innings per start this season. If Bailey can just go six or seven innings and keep the team in the game, the lineup should be able to do its part.

:: Submit a question to the Reds Inbox ::

What is Zack Cozart's prognosis on the DL with a right quad strain?
-- Molly on Facebook live

Cozart, who went on the DL on Monday, was expecting to begin baseball activity on Friday in Washington after a few days of rest. He was optimistic that he could be ready for activation on the first day he is eligible, which is Wednesday. Players often have a speedier timetable than management or the medical staff, so we shall see.

How much will this DL stint hurt the trade possibility of Cozart?
-- Greg H.

Probably not much. What hurts more is a lack of teams in need of a shortstop. The Orioles just lost JJ Hardy to an injury for a while, and that becomes one potential suitor as Baltimore is hovering around .500 in the American League East. But like was the case in the offseason, most teams seem to be set at shortstop.

Video: ATL@CIN: Cozart goes deep for second homer of the day

What should the Reds do with Jesse Winker?
-- Ron H., Coloma, Mich.

Keep letting him develop. The No. 2 prospect in the organization according to MLBPipeline.com, Winker is blocked at the moment with the Reds' corner outfield spots being set. The club has no plans to take away playing time from either left fielder Adam Duvall or right fielder Scott Schebler. Both players are hitting and playing well.

Will Robert Stephenson make it as a starter for the Reds?
-- Maury T., Cheviot, Ohio

Even former first-round picks can go through development fits and struggles, and Stephenson apparently isn't exempt. His issue during his brief big league stints and during Spring Training was command in the strike zone. Even lately as he is being stretched out at Triple-A Louisville, he is still prone to walks.

Stephenson has a 0.69 ERA in three starts since being sent down, but he has 10 walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings. That won't cut it in the big leagues, especially when the Reds need starting pitchers to be efficient, consistent and work deep into games.

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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