Homer Bailey Returns to the Reds' Rotation

Dan ClasgensContributor IMay 22, 2009

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Homer Bailey #34 of the Cincinnati Reds poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo day on February 18, 2009 at the Cincinnati Reds training facility in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Reds placed pitcher Edinson Volquez on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday due to back spasms, paving the way for Homer Bailey to return to the majors.

Bailey will pitch in Volquez's spot Saturday night against the Indians. The 23-year old was 3-5 with 4.57 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 17 walks in 45 1/3 innings of action.

Once a top pitching prospect in baseball, Bailey has been on a roller coaster journey over the past two years. He pitched well in spring training (2.61 ERA in six starts), but ultimately lost out in the battle for the team's No. 5 spot in the rotation to Micah Owings.

Volquez was experiencing persistent back spasms after being forced from his start last Saturday night in San Diego. He underwent and MRI Thursday and it revealed that his problems involve a muscular issue, which means Volquez will likely only miss a start or two if all goes well.

Coming of a 17-6 campaign in 2008, Volquez heads to the shelf with a 4-2 mark so far this year. The hard-throwing righty has had a pair of dominant starts and a couple of duds too. His 45 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings is impressive but off his mark last season, and a bit overshadowed by his 31 walks.

The team did get some good news on Thursday when doctors determined the cause of first baseman Joey Votto's dizziness as being a left inner-ear infection. Votto could return to action as soon as this weekend.

Votto was on fire before catching the flu nearly two weeks ago, hitting .366 with 5 HR's and 27 RBI's.

The Reds could use him back in the lineup too, as the team has dropped five of six games since sweeping Arizona.