CINCINNATI -- The Reds will need a starting pitcher to face the Cubs on Tuesday and will be making a roster move to get one. All signs are pointing to a return of rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani to take the spot.
Cincinnati is still officially calling the probable starter "TBA."
"He's the likely choice," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Friday when asked about Cingrani. "I just can't confirm or deny. It's too early."
After ace Johnny Cueto was scratched vs. the Rockies Wednesday and placed on the disabled list again with a right shoulder injury, Pedro Villarreal made the emergency start. Villarreal was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Friday and infielder Henry Rodriguez was recalled from Louisville to be an extra bat on the bench
Cingrani was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in six starts in his previous callup for the Reds when Cueto was out. He walked nine and struck out 41 in 33 innings.
At Louisville, Cingrani is 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA in six starts. He last pitched on Monday vs. Toledo and gave up three runs and six hits over seven innings. The 23-year-old was the Bats' scheduled starter on Friday against Norfolk, but was replaced by Yohan Pino.
Rodriguez recalled; Villarreal optioned to Triple-A
CINCINNATI -- The Reds on Friday recalled infielder Henry Rodriguez from Triple-A Louisville and optioned starting pitcher Pedro Villarreal back to Louisville.
In 57 games at Louisville, Rodriguez batted .279 with three home runs, 26 RBIs and 11 doubles. He played 26 games at third base and 30 games at second base. He played 12 big league games for the Reds last season.
"I feel really good, especially the last month," Rodriguez said via translator Tomas Vera. "Things have started coming how I planned it. I didn't have a good beginning of the season, but lately things have gotten better. The last few days, I've been doing really well."
Another roster move is coming when the Reds need a starting pitcher on Tuesday, but the switch-hitting Rodriguez adds another bat for the bench in the meantime.
"I'm left-handed strong. They [the Cardinals] called up another left-handed reliever [Kevin Siegrist]," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "When you're facing a team that you really haven't scored on a lot, I'd pick up two bats if I could. … Pollo can hit. That's what he's here for. Hopefully he helps win a game or two in the meantime. He'll probably pinch-hit more than anything."
The Reds have two switch-hitters on the bench in Rodriguez and Derrick Robinson.
Heisey has minor setback with strained hamstring
CINCINNATI -- Reds left fielder Chris Heisey was supposed to begin a rehab assignment on Friday at Triple-A Louisville, but was still around Cincinnati's clubhouse. It turned out that Heisey had a minor setback with the strained right hamstring that has kept him on the disabled list since April 29.
"During batting practice [Wednesday], I did some sliding," Heisey said. "I told them I wanted to make sure I could slide pain free. I did some and didn't have any sharp pains or anything, but it was just a little soreness in there. After what happened last time, I've got to know that I am ready. I don't feel that quite yet."
Three weeks ago during the first inning of his first rehab game for Double-A Pensacola, Heisey had a setback trying to make a catch.
No new timetable exists for when Heisey might try playing some games again. He realizes that being cautious is best for him.
"I was sitting there on the off-day [Thursday] and I was unsure," Heisey said. "I want to be sure when I go that I'm going to be able to play the game and not worry too much about it. … I'll be back out there as soon as I can. It's frustrating, for sure. I've never been out near this long before."
Phillips back in lineup after missing four games
CINCINNATI -- For the first time since being plunked on the left forearm Saturday, second baseman Brandon Phillips was back in the Reds' lineup Friday against the Cardinals.
Phillips suffered a forearm contusion when he was hit by Pirates lefty Tony Watson and missed four games.
"I'm just happy to be back in the game. Hopefully I can go out there and produce," said Phillips, who is ranked third in the National League with 45 RBIs.
Phillips has been able to swing a bat for a few days, but fielding was giving him issues. Reds manager Dusty Baker wanted him back for an important series with the rival Cardinals.
"He's going to feel it sometimes," Baker said. "I think we waited as long as we can wait."
Phillips admitted he was not 100 percent pain free yet.
"I couldn't extend my forearm. I still can't do it a little bit right now," he said. "Hopefully it's a little bit looser today. I felt it a little bit the last time I was hitting. It's a new day."