Just when you thought there couldn't be any more awkward roster shuffling from the Cincinnati Reds, today we found out that Homer Bailey's heading back to the DL and Carlos Contreras will be a part of the 25 (24) man roster.
Reds.com writer Mark Sheldon later indicated that Bailey had a right forearm strain (which he later clarified as a sprain), which may or may not be related to the flexor mass tendon issue he had surgically repaired over the winter.
Bailey missed the first week and a half of the season following said surgery, and has made a pair of starts since rejoining the rotation on April 18th, posting a 5.56 ERA in 11.1 IP in them. He notably failed to strike out a batter in his first start of the season, and it's been noted in many locations that his fastball was only topping out at 92 mph, and his average fastball velocity of 91.1 mph was over 3 mph below his 2014 mark of 94.2 mph. There hadn't been any reports of discomfort since Homer's start against the Milwaukee Brewers on the 23rd, but apparently there has been enough of a problem for them to both diagnose the injury and make a roster move.
Homer's spot in the rotation was due up on Thursday thanks to Saturday's rainout bumping everyone back a few days, and the Louisville Bats don't currently have a scheduled starter listed beyond Wednesday. David Holmberg is currently on the mound for them right now, which likely rules him out as Homer's replacement, and both Dylan Axelrod and Jon Moscot are scheduled to start the doubleheader they're supposed to play Tuesday. Raisel Iglesias - who opened the season in the Reds rotation while Homer was out - pitched yesterday, so he's likely out despite the fact that he's on the 40-man roster and has already made his MLB debut.
The wild card, I suppose, is hot prospect Michael Lorenzen. He last pitched on the 24th, so a start for him on Thursday would be on more than full rest, but he's not yet on the 40-man roster, meaning the Reds would have to jettison yet another member to make him available. That 2.84 ERA at Louisville and 99 mph fastball sure do sound tempting, however.
Here's the obligatory mention that Homer's just now in year two of the 6 year, $105 million contract he signed immediately prior to the 2014 season and that this is now the second elbow/forearm issue he has faced. Here's to hoping it's nothing serious, but there's never been a time where I've heard "elbow" and "ligament" in the same sentence and felt confident.
And just to brighten your day, I'd wager that this does a lot to make sure Jason Marquis is absolutely not going anywhere anytime soon.