Bailey nears return for Reds, Mesoraco out with lingering hip problem

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CHICAGO — Homer Bailey has moved closer to a return to the Reds' rotation, but Devin Mesoraco is out of Cincinnati's lineup for a third straight game because of a left hip injury and could be headed to the disabled list.

The Reds are playing short-handed against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night with Mesoraco back in Cincinnati for rehabilitation. Manager Bryan Price didn't rule out putting Mesoraco on the DL. The All-Star catcher will be reevaluated Thursday.

"I'm sure that there would be certain expectations on how he feels after three or four days of rehab," Price said. "There's an expectation on how he should feel and if there's not significant improvement then I think we'd have to look at different options."

Mesoraco, who is hitting .095 in six games, was replaced in the order by Brayan Pena.

Bailey had a bullpen session and is expected to make his season debut Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander had surgery to repair the torn flexor tendon in his pitching forearm on Sept. 5 and started this season on the disabled list.

Cincinnati also recalled RHP Pedro Villarreal from Triple-A Louisville and optioned RHP Josh Smith to Triple-A.

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