CINCINNATI -- The Reds put starter Homer Bailey on the 15-day disabled list on Monday night with a sprained ligament in his right elbow, the same one he had surgery on last September.
Bailey was limited during spring training while he completed his comeback from surgery on the forearm where it attaches to the elbow. He made two starts, throwing 92 pitches in a 5-2 loss at St. Louis and 79 pitches in a 4-2 loss at Milwaukee.
Manager Bryan Price said Bailey developed soreness in the elbow following his last start. An MRI on Monday detected the problem. It's unclear how long he'll need to rest.
"How we're going to go about dealing with it is something that will evolve over the next couple of days," Price said. "It's unbelievably unfortunate for him as an individual and for us as a ballclub."
Bailey is 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA. His next scheduled start was Thursday at Atlanta. He had planned to throw in the bullpen on Monday, but the soreness prompted the Reds to send him for an exam.
"After his last start, he had the typical stiffness and soreness of a guy who's perfectly healthy," Price said. "We didn't anticipate any problems that would lead to shutting him down. He played catch yesterday and felt pretty good. He was scheduled to throw a bullpen (session) today."
The Reds recalled right-hander Carlos Contreras from Triple-A Louisville. Contreras made 17 relief appearances last season, going 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA.
Bailey agreed to a six-year, $105 million deal before the start of last season. He went 9-5 in 23 starts with a 3.71 ERA last year before having surgery on the forearm. Bailey threw no-hitters in 2012 and 2013.
Cincinnati's rotation has been its strong point the last few years. It changed in the offseason, when the Reds traded Mat Latos to Miami and Alfredo Simon to Detroit. Johnny Cueto, their 20-game winner, is in the final year of his deal.