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Mahle to replace Bailey in Reds' rotation

Rookie slated to start Sunday vs. Padres; Garrett closer to return
September 7, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Homer Bailey will not get another turn in the Reds' rotation to try to reverse his season-long struggles. Interim manager Jim Riggleman announced Friday that Bailey will exit the rotation, and he will be replaced by rookie Tyler Mahle, who will face the Padres on Sunday."We wanted to

CINCINNATI -- Homer Bailey will not get another turn in the Reds' rotation to try to reverse his season-long struggles. Interim manager Jim Riggleman announced Friday that Bailey will exit the rotation, and he will be replaced by rookie Tyler Mahle, who will face the Padres on Sunday.
"We wanted to get Tyler Mahle back in there. Homer is the odd guy out at this time," Riggleman said. "Certainly, as [Bailey] works on things in the bullpen between now and the end of the year, I'm sure we'll have him plenty stretched out and ready to go if one of our other starters is failing, or not able [to go]. Homer would be the next guy to go back in there."
Bailey is 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA this season, while the Reds have lost 19 of his 20 starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to have his team go 1-19 over his first 20 starts of a season. He is 9-26 with a 6.29 ERA in 44 starts since 2016.
Despite his record, moving Bailey out of the rotation is not a routine move for Cincinnati. Signed to a six-year, $105 million contract in 2014, the 32-year-old is making $21 million in '18 and is owed $28 million -- including the $5 million buyout of his 2020 mutual option -- next season. He's spent a bulk of the contract on the disabled list because of three elbow surgeries. This season, he was on the DL for nearly two months because of right knee inflammation.
"It was frustrating in April. This is like normal now," Bailey said of Friday's developments. "All I have to do is use every day to get better. Outside of that, hey, whatever decisions are made, it's completely out of my control."
Riggleman does not plan to use Bailey as a reliever out of the bullpen. Any pitching he does will be done on the side.
"Right now, he's just going to be working on his mechanics, video and so forth to improve himself any way he can and be ready for the offseason," Riggleman said.
Mahle, 23, was 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA in 22 starts before he was optioned to Triple-A Louisville in early August amid a rough stretch. After he went 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts from June 1-July 6, he was 0-3 with a 16.88 ERA over his last four big league starts.
Over his five starts with Louisville, Mahle had a 2.73 ERA.
"I just worked on everything, breaking stuff and really trying to get my fastball command back to where I think it should be. Just the typical stuff," Mahle said. "I didn't really change anything. I just went back to what I was doing. I went down [to the Minors] and just tried to trust it, that it was going to go where I was trying to throw it and not try to aim the ball or aim to the glove, really."
Mahle felt like he was able to reset himself in the Minors and was glad he could finish the season in the big leagues.
"For sure, it was nice to go into a game and work on stuff. I didn't want to be there [originally], but that was a plus," he said.
Besides working on his stuff, Bailey didn't know what was next for him.
"We don't do plans here," Bailey said. "No, there's no plan right now."
Will it be hard to likely sit out the rest of the season?
"Yeah, idle minds can be a dangerous thing sometimes," he said. "[The] last few years, I had some practice at it, so I know what I'm doing."
Garrett close to return?
Lefty reliever Amir Garrett, who has been on the DL since Aug. 29 with a contusion on his left foot, is scheduled to face hitters Saturday in simulated action. Although the session is slated to be on the field, forecasted rain might force him to pitch in the indoor cage.
"If we feel like it was a good enough test and he feels it really responded well, we would activate him a couple of days after that," Riggleman said.

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.