NEW YORK -- Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez missed his third straight game on Wednesday vs. the Mets due to a sore left knee. Hernandez could return for the upcoming series against the Phillies.

"He's available in an emergency or the eighth, ninth innings possibly," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's progressing and getting better every day."

The Reds could soon have their other injured catcher back as well. Ryan Hanigan went 2-for-5 on Tuesday in his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville and was batting .209 (9-for-43). Hanigan, who has been out since May 29 with a broken left thumb, has had no pain when catching. He's caught seven of the 12 games he's played for Louisville.

"We still want to see him keep playing," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He might be there a couple of more days. He's starting to swing the bat a little bit better."

Maloney to start as Reds wrap first half

NEW YORK -- The Reds have determined that left-hander Matt Maloney will get at least one more start, and it will be against the Phillies on Sunday to end the first half of Cincinnati's season.

Maloney, who was called up on Tuesday from Triple-A Louisville to replace the injured Aaron Harang, pitched a solid 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs and seven hits during a 3-0 loss to the Mets. The club was holding off its decision until it could evaluate Maloney's outing.

"A lot of it depended on Maloney's performance," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We're in a performance business."

Also playing into the decision is that Edinson Volquez, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, will get one more rehab assignment start with Louisville on Friday before rejoining the Reds' rotation for the second half.

"We expect that to be a good start," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said of Volquez. "He'll be evaluated after the break but he should be here after the break."

"[Volquez] didn't balk at the idea too much of one more start down there," Baker said.

Bray soaking up return to Major League action

NEW YORK -- Having endured a long rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery that kept him out of the Majors for more than a year, Reds lefty reliever Bill Bray is doing all he can to savor his time back.

Bray returned to the Reds on June 27 and has made four appearances. After a homer was allowed in his first game, his last three outings have been scoreless.

"The first time I got called up and the last couple of years, they were fun, but I felt a lot more pressure earlier on," Bray said on Wednesday. "Having been hurt and not being able to play, I appreciated it before, but I appreciate it a lot more now. I'm not taking anything for granted. You're looking at it and saying, 'How awesome is this?' I get to come to a new stadium here. It's beautiful. I'm seeing everything new again."

Bray pitched the eighth inning of the Reds' 3-0 loss to the Mets on Tuesday. After he allowed Angel Pagan's leadoff walk, he got out of the situation.

"Last night wasn't very successful to begin with," said Bray, who was a 4.50 ERA while retiring three of four inherited runners. "The goal is to go out there and hit my spots. David Wright had a big flyout and Corky Miller made a heck of a catch behind home plate for me. It got me out of trouble with Pagan on first and the long flies."

Worth noting

Former longtime television broadcaster George Grande visited the Reds' clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon and spent time talking to players and staff. ... The Reds' new players union representative is a surprising one -- it's rookie starting pitcher Mike Leake. Right fielder Jay Bruce is the alternate rep.