8/12/2014 6:54 P.M. ET
Simon switches agents
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Starter Alfredo Simon changed agents, and on Tuesday, he signed with MVP Sports Group, headed by Dan Lozano. Previously with agent Adam Katz of the Wasserman Media Group, Simon interviewed with four or five agents before signing.
"I'm really happy with them," Simon told MLB.com. "Lozano had a meeting with me and talked to me. I decided to sign with them."
This could be a lucrative offseason upcoming for Simon, who will be third-year arbitration eligible and enjoying the best season of his career. He avoided arbitration this past winter with a one-year, $1.5 million contract when he was still viewed as a middle reliever.
This season, the 33-year-old Simon stepped up as a starter for the injured Mat Latos and became a rotation fixture. He is 12-7 with a 3.08 ERA over 143 innings in 23 starts.
Bailey's start pushed back due to sore elbow, neck
CINCINNATI -- The Reds adjusted their starting rotation this week because right-hander Homer Bailey has been bothered by elbow stiffness.
The injury was not deemed serious, but the extra precautions are still being taken.
"I've pitched with it. It's not just my elbow, but my neck, a bulging disc I've pitched with the whole year," Bailey said. "So now's a good time to [get] the extra day. Guys just need to pick me up for a couple days."
Bailey, who was supposed to pitch on Wednesday, is now slated to take the mound again on Saturday at Colorado. Mike Leake will face the Red Sox on Wednesday while Alfredo Simon will go Thursday vs. the Rockies, followed by Johnny Cueto on Friday.
"As much as we would have liked to have given everybody the extra day off, it didn't make any sense at all to ask Homer to go out there and try to throw through some unusual stiffness in his elbow," manager Bryan Price said. "We're pretty optimistic that by Saturday he's going to be good to go."
Bailey did not undergo a MRI exam as some type of stiffness or soreness is often commonplace for pitchers later in the season.
"The difference is this was significant enough to make every effort to give him a couple of extra days -- in this case, it's [four] extra days," Price said. "That's a nice thing to do to make sure we don't have any setbacks. We're obviously trying to avoid anything that would make the situation worse."
In his previous start on Thursday vs. the Indians, Bailey pitched seven innings with four hits, one walk and eight strikeouts for a 4-0 Reds victory.
"Instead of going out there and trying to be a hero now, let's just give it a few days and finish up the season," Bailey said.
Phillips' thumb improving, takes on-field batting practice
CINCINNATI -- Second baseman Brandon Phillips took batting practice on the field Tuesday for the first time since a July 11 surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Phillips began hitting in the cages last week and has taken ground balls for several days without issue.
"I think he's been swinging the bat pain free, even with the vibration," manager Bryan Price said.
Phillips, who was expected to miss six weeks after his operation, is expected to go on a Minor League rehab assignment before rejoining the Reds.
"There will be some Minor League season left for Brandon to go on a rehab assignment and hit," Price said.
Ondrusek throws 34-pitch simulated game
CINCINNATI -- Right-handed reliever Logan Ondrusek threw a simulated game on the field Tuesday. Ondrusek, who hasn't pitched since July 13 and went on the disabled list July 22 with a strained right shoulder, made 34 pitches over two innings to Kristopher Negron and Tucker Barnhart.
"I felt strong, felt good and everything so far is pointing to me being healthy," Ondrusek said. "So as long as it stays like that, we'll be happy and ready to go."
Ondrusek is tentatively slated to throw an inning in a Minor League game yet to be determined on Friday and possibly rejoin the Reds in Colorado on Saturday.
Garrett gives up hoops, focused solely on baseball
CINCINNATI -- Left-hander Amir Garrett, who is the Reds' 18th-ranked prospect, informed the organization recently that he would be ending his college basketball career and focusing solely on baseball.
When Garrett was taken by the Reds in the 22nd round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, he was also playing basketball for St. John's University and transferred to Cal-State Northridge last year.
Now it's just baseball for Garrett going forward.
"We're really happy with the end result," said player development director Jeff Graupe. "I'm really proud of how Amir handled himself the whole time. Even when he told us he's not sure, or going to St. John's or to Northridge, he was a pro about it."
Garrett is 6-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 23 starts for Class A Dayton this season. In 113 1/3 innings, he has allowed 98 hits and 42 walks with 101 strikeouts. Over his last 12 starts, Garrett has a 2.21 ERA.
"His second-half stats are right there with anybody in our system and anybody in Minor League baseball," Graupe said. "He is developing at a pretty accelerated rate."