Eager Heisey returns to Reds lineup

Eager Heisey returns to Reds lineup

OAKLAND -- Reds outfielder Chris Heisey never imagined a strained right hamstring would have him on the disabled list for so long. Heisey was relieved to finally be activated Tuesday sitting on the shelf since April 29.

"When I originally did it, I didn't even want them to put me on the disabled list," Heisey said. "I obviously had never dealt with a hamstring before, but I thought it was little strain and I'd be back in a week to week-and-a-half. Almost two months later, I'm finally back. It's good to be back, for sure."

Heisey started in the two-game-series opener vs. the A's as the designated hitter.

"We need Heisey because of all these lefties we are facing. It's part of his job," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Heisey played six games on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville, including four games in left field. He was 4-for-20 (.200) with one double and six strikeouts. More importantly, there were no additional setbacks. He had a couple since he first went down.

"I felt really good," said Heisey, who will wear a brace on his leg. "I didn't necessarily have the results to show for it. I hit some balls hard that got caught. I saw a lot of pitches, forced a lot of deep counts, which is something I want to get better at doing up here. It was good practice for me to get back in the box, see some pitches and get ready to hit up here."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.