OAKLAND -- There has been a change in plans in Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez's rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville.Volquez will pitch on Wednesday vs. Toledo, instead of Tuesday, as was originally thought. He is expected to throw around 90 pitches. "We gave him an extra day because of the added pitch count," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said on Monday. Volquez's next start for Louisville after Wednesday should come on June 29. It still puts him on track to return to the Majors and pitch for the Reds shortly before the All-Star break in mid-July. In two previous starts for Class A Lynchburg, Volquez allowed three hits over eight scoreless innings without a walk while recording seven strikeouts. The right-hander has not pitched for the Reds since June 1, 2009, and had Tommy John surgery on his elbow in August.
Reds close to signing free agent Matthews
OAKLAND -- According to a baseball source, the Reds are close to signing free-agent outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a Minor League deal. It's expected to happen in the next couple of days.Matthews was released by the Mets on June 15 after he batted .190 with a .266 on-base percentage in 65 plate appearances and 36 games this season. A lifetime .257 hitter with a .332 OBP, Matthews' best season was with the Rangers in 2006, when he batted .313 with 19 home runs and 79 RBIs. After he signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Angels before 2007, Matthews' production plummeted.
Cabrera, Bruce struggling, get rested
OAKLAND -- Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera and right fielder Jay Bruce were not in the manager Dusty Baker's starting lineup during Monday's series opener vs. the A's. Paul Janish started at shortstop while Chris Heisey was in right field. Brandon Phillips moved up into Cabrera's regular leadoff spot.Bruce is 4-for-25 (also .160) in his last seven games. Cabrera is 8-for-50 (.160) in 13 games since July 6, when he hurt his right ankle. "I'd like to think that it's not [the ankle]," Cabrera said of his struggles. "They showed me video of a couple of at-bats that my ankle is getting in the way. Maybe I'm jumping too much to avoid the pain. It's going to get better. I can't get impatient or try to rush things. Then I'll get into trouble." Baker had Cabrera in his office for a short meeting in his office on Monday. Baker thinks that Cabrera has been making great contact but has had little luck. "A lot of times, people just see how many hits you've got. They don't see how you've hit the ball," Baker said. "Jay was our hard-luck guy earlier, and he's been our hard-luck guy the last 10 days or two weeks. He's been hitting the ball on the nose and has nothing to show for it all over the field. I said 'keep swinging. Sometimes the numbers are deceiving. If you keep hitting the ball hard, you've got action."
Bailey, Hanigan, Dickerson progressing
OAKLAND -- Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to begin a throwing program by the time the club gets home from the road trip on Thursday. Head trainer Paul Lessard said that Bailey's shoulder exercise program has already been intensified.Catcher Ryan Hanigan (fractured left thumb) did catching and blocking drills on Monday afternoon, and was behind the plate during starter Johnny Cueto's side bullpen session. Considering that Cueto has a live fastball, it was a good test for Hanigan's thumb. "It's not too bad. He's not throwing his 'A' fastball but I get a pretty good idea how I'm going to feel," Hanigan said. Outfielder Chris Dickerson (right hand/wrist surgeries) has been at Triple-A Louisville to take batting practice but hasn't begun a rehab assignment.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.