9/2/2014 7:06 P.M. ET
Hoover aims to finish season strong with Reds
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- J.J. Hoover wasn't gone long from the Reds to work on his craft at Triple-A Louisville, but the reliever felt optimistic after some good results. Hoover threw five scoreless innings over four appearances for the Bats after being demoted on Aug. 21.
"I never really lost confidence in myself or my ability," Hoover said. "It's always good to go down and get some scoreless innings under your belt."
In 46 big league games before going down, Hoover was 1-10 with a 5.27 ERA, with 51 hits, 29 walks and 67 strikeouts over 54 2/3 innings. That included a 10-game losing streak -- a team record for a reliever. Eight of his 20 inherited runners scored.
According to manager Bryan Price, the reports from Louisville indicated that Hoover was sharper on the mound. The club was looking to see him throw more strikes.
"He's been running just over 50 percent with his ball-strike with his fastball. For a guy that's a fastball pitcher, it's not a high enough number," Price said. "Getting him back working on the plate was important and will continue to be important. He's just not a guy that should be pitching behind, walking guys or making those mistakes where hitters are getting the ball to the outfield in the air. He's so much better than what we've seen, in part, during the season."
Hoover is hoping to end the 2014 season on a high note after the most challenging campaign of his career.
"Hopefully I can give them some good innings and leave a better taste in their mouth than what the rest of the year kind of had," Hoover said. "All you can do is move forward, instead of dwelling on the past."
Forearm surgery an option for injured Bailey
BALTIMORE -- Homer Bailey's season was officially ended on Monday when the Reds right-hander was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. To get Bailey beyond the flexor mass tendon strain in his right forearm, the option of having it repaired surgically is on the table.
"It's being discussed," manager Bryan Price said on Tuesday. "With that particular injury, it's one of the options. It's not the only option. As we move forward, we'll consider it as something that would certainly rectify the problem."
Recently-traded reliever Jonathan Broxton had a completely torn flexor mass last season and had surgery in August 2013. He started out behind in Spring Training and began the season on the disabled list before returning on April 8. Mat Latos had a strain of the same tendon during a rehab assignment and returned this season without needing surgery.
Bailey, who signed a six-year, $105 million contract in February, has not pitched since Aug. 7. He finished the season 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 23 starts.
In the middle of last month, Bailey had a platelet-rich plasma injection in an effort to speed his healing. A second MRI taken last week showed little improvement, however.
The non-surgical options include a second PRP injection and a strengthening and conditioning program.
"That's a little higher risk because there are no guarantees he would be fully recovered," Price said. "If you're going to have a surgical procedure done, you don't want to wait too long because it will affect the ability to be ready for the season."
Strong second half earns Rodriguez callup
BALTIMORE -- Only one of the Reds' 10 September callups was summoned from Double-A Pensacola, and at 22, outfielder Yorman Rodriguez is now the youngest player in the big league clubhouse. The organization felt that Rodriguez, Cincinnati's 12th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, earned his promotion with strong second-half numbers.
"He's been hitting for a better average, more consistent at the plate," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Tuesday. "He's been showing some power and showing some of the skills we have seen periodically. Now he's showing it with more consistency.
"He went through some tough times, like a lot of their players did in the first part of that Double-A season, when their hitters really scuffled. He's one of those guys whose numbers aren't off the charts but if you look at the second half, they're a lot closer to the numbers that warrant a promotion or a September look than his overall body of work statistically."
Rodriguez was signed out of Venezuela in 2008 as a 16-year-old for a then-record $2.5 million. This season, he batted .262/.331/.389 with nine home runs, 40 RBIs, 47 walks and 117 strikeouts over 119 games for Pensacola.
"They said, 'Are you ready to go up?' I said, 'Oh man, thank you for that,'" said Rodriguez, who turned 22 on Aug. 15.
In 51 first-half games, Rodriguez batted .224 with two homers and 14 RBIs before improving to .291 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 68 second-half games. He arrives to the big leagues on a roll of sorts after batting .294 with four homers and 12 RBIs before the promotion. He also drew 20 walks -- nearly half his season total -- compared to 29 strikeouts in a sign he's become more selective.
"If I saw a ball, I wouldn't swing. My second half, I looked for a good pitch every time," Rodriguez said. "In the second half, if I saw a ball inside, I didn't swing. I swung middle-away every time."
• Reds shortstop Zack Cozart is away from the club after his wife gave birth on Tuesday. Since rosters are expanded, a transaction was not required to replace him.