Reds’ rotation continues to have ‘a lot of moving pieces’

Reds starter Scott Feldman pitches against the Nationals on Monday, July 17, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

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Reds starter Scott Feldman pitches against the Nationals on Monday, July 17, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

The closer the Reds get to their weekend series against the Brewers in Milwaukee, the more muddled become their pitching “plans.”

Right-hander Scott Feldman remained a possibility to start on Saturday in place of right-hander Tim Adleman, depending on how Feldman’s right knee responds to ongoing workouts. The soreness that sent Feldman to the disabled list on July 18 doesn’t hamper his pitching, but the Reds want to make sure he’s reasonably mobile on the basepaths and agile while fielding his position before they activate him.

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“By the end of the day (Thursday), we should know,” manager Bryan Price said before Thursday morning before the series finale against San Diego. “How he comes out of his workouts today will determine whether he’s activated sometime during the road trip.”

Right-hander Robert Stephenson, who jammed his pitching shoulder trying to field a bunt in Pittsburgh on Aug. 2, is eligible to be activated on Sunday, and manager Bryan Price floated the possibility that the rookie could start in place of right-hander Sal Romano.

“He’s healthy,” Price said. “He threw a bullpen (on Wednesday). It’s all fine.”

Price is becoming too adept at juggling starting pitchers.

“We have a lot of moving pieces in the rotation,” he said. “I’m comfortable with that.”

Price admitted that he would be equally as comfortable with situations such as 2012, when five pitchers – Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake – made all but one start for the Reds. The other start came from Todd Redmond, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to start the second game of a day-night doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs created by a postponement earlier that season.

Daddy Devin: Cincinnati activated catcher Devin Mesoraco from the three-day paternity list before Thursday's game and placed right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.

“The MRI dictated he needed some time off,” Price said. “At this point, I don’t have any more concern other than he’s going to miss some time.”

Bonilla won’t throw until at least Monday, Price said.

Mesoraco’s wife, Kira, gave birth on Sunday to their first child, a son, Luke Devin. Mesoraco was asked if he’d gotten much sleep during his three days off.

“Not really, but it’s OK,” he said. “I’ll get some sleep.”

Bounceback?: After setting single-game career highs by allowing 10 runs and 10 earned runs on Sunday against St. Louis, right-hander Homer Bailey (3-6, 8.86 earned-run average) is Cincinnati's scheduled starter on Friday in the opener of the three-game series at Milwaukee and 10-game, 10-day road trip that includes stops in Chicago to play the Cubs and Atlanta. Bailey is 5-9 with a 4.93 ERA in 23 career starts against the Brewers, including 3-3 with a 4.36 ERA at Miller Park.

Milwaukee’s scheduled starter, right-hander Jimmy Nelson (9-5, 3,24), is 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA in 13 career games, including 11 starts, against the Reds.

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