Notes: Double-A no problem for Bailey

Notes: Double-A no problem for Bailey

CLEVELAND --- Adjustments, what adjustments?

Top Reds prospect Homer Bailey, the team's first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, made it look rather easy during his debut for Double-A Chattanooga on Thursday night. His line was six scoreless innings on five hits without a walk and seven strikeouts. Bailey and the Lookouts cruised to a 7-0 victory over Carolina.

"He was composed, according to our reports," Reds player development director Johnny Almaraz said by phone from Texas. "He took the bull by the horns and pitched outstanding."

Bailey threw 96 pitches during the outing. His final pitch was clocked at 98 mph.

"I've always been the type of pitcher that feels better in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings or even the seventh if I get that chance," Bailey told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "I can't explain it. It's just how I've always done it."

The Reds decided earlier this week to challenge the 20-year-old Bailey at a higher level after he went 3-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 13 starts at Class A Sarasota. While he's with Chattanooga, the organization instructed Bailey to set goals of not trying to be too overpowering with his fastball and to avoid getting the ball up in the strike zone.

Many pitchers that move up often need a few starts before they get comfortable. At least in one start, Bailey was not one of those pitchers.

"Last night, he worked ahead in the counts and pitched well," Almaraz said. "Our expectations are that he works on some details. There's a plan for him. Let him go there and make it happen."

An unlikely part of the plan is to promote Bailey to the Major Leagues this season. Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky has resisted the notion of accelerating Bailey's development through the system.

"We're going to leave him in Chattanooga and see how he does," Krivsky said from a scouting trip at Class A Dayton. "He's pitched one game there."

Reds manager Jerry Narron has made little secret of his desire to have Bailey in his rotation and has jokingly needled Krivsky to keep from him the results of each of the pitcher's starts. What did Narron think when he saw Thursday's report on the right-hander?

"I don't have to see a report on him. I saw him this spring," Narron said.

Rotation tweaked: With an off-day scheduled for Monday, the Reds have decided to skip fifth starter Joe Mays' turn in the rotation. Mays was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday against the Royals. Eric Milton will make the start instead and be followed by Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Elizardo Ramirez. Mays will pitch next Saturday against Cleveland.

The change was made so Arroyo could get an extra start before the All-Star break.

DH duty: With this weekend's Interleague series being played in an American League ballpark, Rich Aurilia was the Reds designated hitter. It was Aurilia's first start since he left last Saturday's game with a strained right biceps muscle. He made pinch-hitting appearances Tuesday and Wednesday.

Narron said center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. would be the DH on Saturday and possibly Sunday. Narron, who spent most of his professional career in the AL, has been fully converted the National League way of life. Therefore, he was no fan of implementing the DH this weekend.

"Just write out the lineup and watch them play," Narron said.

Belisle update: Reds reliever Matt Belisle (strained back) will make his fifth rehabilitation assignment appearance Saturday, this time with Triple-A Louisville. Belisle allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless inning Thursday for Chattanooga.

New home: Reliever Rick White, designated for assignment on Sunday by the Reds, was claimed off waivers by the Phillies on Friday.

Coming up: Bronson Arroyo (9-3, 2.47 ERA) will start for the Reds on Saturday against Cleveland's Paul Byrd (5-5, 4.78 ERA). A reminder -- the game begins at 1:20 p.m. ET, not its originally scheduled time of 7:05 p.m.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.