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Reds hope Bailey can return this season

Right-hander has made six starts after coming back from Tommy John
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- There is still hope that right-hander Homer Bailey will be able to pitch again before the season ends. But the right biceps tenderness he's had must be completely behind him first.

Bailey had a positive afternoon Tuesday, when he threw his first bullpen session since his last start on Aug. 28. He threw 44 pitches.

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CINCINNATI -- There is still hope that right-hander Homer Bailey will be able to pitch again before the season ends. But the right biceps tenderness he's had must be completely behind him first.

Bailey had a positive afternoon Tuesday, when he threw his first bullpen session since his last start on Aug. 28. He threw 44 pitches.

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"He's improved from where he was," Reds pitching coach Mack Jenkins said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow and plan another bullpen, maybe, on Friday."

When asked if Bailey threw pain-free, Jenkins did not categorize it that way.

"He was better than he has been," Jenkins said. "He threw his whole arsenal. He had high pitch quality today."

Bailey declined to speak with reporters.

It's been a long summer for the 30-year-old Bailey, who returned after a 15-month rehab from Tommy John surgery on July 31. He posted a 6.65 ERA in six starts before he was shut down again by the biceps issue. He's made eight starts over the past two seasons.

Video: CIN@MIL: Bailey fans 11 over six scoreless, earns win

The Reds are not in playoff contention so having Bailey pitch again this season isn't imperative. There has been discussion of shutting him down until 2017, but the club would like to give him an opportunity to pitch again this season, if it's the responsible thing to do.

Much will depend on how Bailey responds Wednesday to his throwing off of a mound.

"For many of us in the organization, we'd like to see him pitch, because he's worked so hard to get over the elbow injury," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Now he's got what is a fairly common pitching malady that, with a bit of rest and brief program, anybody else can return in a fairly short order from it. I don't think any of us feel like there's risking his elbow health by having him pitch if he's back to feeling healthy. We're certainly not going to give him a huge chunk of time off and then give him the bum's rush to get him back into a game."

Worth noting

• Shortstop Zack Cozart was out of the lineup for a third straight day on Tuesday with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. It's been an issue that's affected Cozart throughout the season.

"We're really at the mercy of how his knee responds on a daily basis," Price said. "It's just been a part of this recovery from a major surgery. The patella tendon will get cranky. When it gets cranky, we're finding that it sometimes takes more than one day to calm down."

There is currently no thought of shutting down Cozart for the rest of the season. Price might give him scheduled days off, however, after his return as a preventative measure.

"The thing I'd like to be able to find is a sense that it's coming. The problem is you can't," Price said of the knee soreness.

• Right-hander Alfredo Simon had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday. A fragment of cartilage was removed and the labrum was debrided. Simon, a free agent this winter that seems unlikely to return, could be ready to pitch during the winter ball season.

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