Updates from Tuesday, June 10
MLB Roster Moves provides an update on Joey Votto's status:
MLB Lineups confirms he's returned to the Reds' lineup:
6/10 @Reds lineup vs LAD Hamilton CF Frazier 3B Votto 1B Phillips 2B Bruce RF Mesoraco C Schumaker LF Cozart SS Leake P— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) June 10, 2014
Updates from Thursday, June 5
John Fay of Cincinnati.com talked to Reds manager Bryan Price about Joey Votto's status:
Joey Votto took ground balls like a healthy first baseman Thursday. He's sprayed the ball around the ballpark in batting practice like a healthy hitter.
"He looked strong," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But he hasn't had a huge workload offensively. It's not like he's been able to take regular swings off live pitching for a while. This really is -- it's not necessarily new -- but he hasn't been getting daily swings off live pitching.
"That's why it seemed to make more sense to bring him to the ballpark and work out with the club for a few days and be able to do baseball activity before deciding the next move."
Updates from Sunday, June 1:
Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Fay provides the latest on Joey Votto's injury from Reds Manager Bryan Price:
Price spoke to Votto. "He sounds great. He's feeling much better." Votto will go on a short rehab w/ Dayton or Lville. #reds— John Fay (@johnfayman) June 1, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 29
Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Fay has the latest on Votto:
Price said Votto is taking groundballs and may take live batting practice in the next couple of days. #reds— John Fay (@johnfayman) May 29, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, May 27
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com has the latest update on Joey Votto after speaking with manager Bryan Price before Tuesday's game against the Dodgers:
Price said Votto was making "good , positive" progress with injury. But didn't know when he could return. #reds— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) May 27, 2014
Updates from Sunday, May 25
Joey Votto and manager Bryan Price spoke to John Fay of Cincinnati.com about the star's knee after returning to the lineup:
"I've made pretty good progress so far," Votto said.
Asked what he could do now that he couldn't do because of the injury, Votto wouldn't go into specifics.
"That's really none of your business," he said. "I'm not going to tell you that. I'm getting stronger. I don't really want to tell you what I couldn't do before and what I can do."
Votto later apologized.
"I didn't mean to be rude," he said.
Manager Bryan Price admitted Friday that Votto may not get to 100 percent this year.
"The soreness – I can't say it's completely gone – but it's much more controlled," Price said.
"But the strength deficit is still a concern. To me, it made more sense to get Joey as close to 100 percent – that may not be possible this year – but as close to it as we can and give him a better foundation on which to play as opposed to getting him back at 50 percent because we didn't give him an extra week to 10 days to get that stability back in in his leg."
Updates from Wednesday, May 21
MLB Lineups on Twitter confirmed that Joey Votto is once again out of the lineup for the Reds:
5/21 @Reds lineup vs. WSH Hamilton CF Cozart SS Phillips 2B Mesoraco C Frazier 3B Ludwick LF Pena 1B Bernadina RF Simon P— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) May 21, 2014
The Cincinnati Reds provide an update on Votto's status:
Votto to DL, retro to 5/16, Bruce reinstated from disabled list.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 21, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, May 20
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the latest on if Joey Votto will be placed on the DL:
No roster moves, but Bryan Price said he was ‘optimistic’ that Joey Votto could play when #Reds return to Cincinnati— ctrent (@ctrent) May 20, 2014
Updates from Monday, May 19
MLB Lineups on Twitter confirmed that Joey Votto is again out of the Cincinnati lineup:
5/19 @Reds lineup vs Nationals Hamilton CF Schumaker RF Phillips 2B Mesoraco C Frazier 3B Pena 1B Heisey LF Cozart SS Leake P— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) May 19, 2014
Manager Bryan Price briefly spoke about the Reds decision to hold off on placing Votto on the DL via C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"We haven't made a decision. We've still got some really good, positive stuff coming out from his rehab and he's gotten a lot of the soreness out of his knee," Reds manager Bryan Price said before Monday's game. "He's working diligently on his strengthening. We're not yet ready, or do we feel it necessary to make a decision right now. It's really a day-to-day, pending situation."
Updates from Sunday, May 18
C. Trent Rosecrans of Cincinnati.com confirms Joey Votto is still unable to play:
#Reds lineup: Hamilton 8, Heisey 9, Phillips 4, Frazier 5, Mesoraco 2, Ludwick 7, Cozart 6, Soto 3, Cingrani LHP— ctrent (@ctrent) May 18, 2014
Updates from Saturday, May 17
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has an update on Votto's status:
Reds first baseman Joey Votto stayed behind in Cincinnati on Saturday while the team waited to decide if his strained left quadriceps will require a trip to the disabled list.
"We're still optimistic that he may not need to go on the DL,'' Price said. "That being said, we'll probably have more clarity on that once we get through this weekend series and see how things have evolved.
"We want Joey back as Joey Votto, not as a shell or a shadow of who he is. We want him to play confidently on that knee and that leg for the rest of the season and the rest of his career moving forward. If that means it takes two or three weeks to get it right, that's OK. But we also don't want to put him on the DL if we feel that it might be a four-to-seven-day turnaround.''
The Cincinnati Reds have struggled to keep pace in the NL Central this season, and things won't get any easier now that first baseman Joey Votto is ailing.
C. Trent Rosecrans has an update on Votto's MRI:
MRI shows no structural damage to Votto's knee, it's a quad injury. They'll meet tonight. NO DL move at this time #Reds— ctrent (@ctrent) May 16, 2014
Joey Votto’s exact injury is a left distal quadriceps strain— ctrent (@ctrent) May 16, 2014
MLB's Mark Sheldon has Bryan Price's thoughts on the injury:
It means there’s a reason for the soreness and the fatigue in the leg...We’ll collect as an organization after the game today and try to define the best course of either rehab or the best decision for Joey and the club.
I don’t think initially the feeling was that it was going to be chronic or long-term debilitating...But until you check anybody out, you don’t know what you can find. Yeah, it is a collective sigh of relief for sure that it’s not anything serious. It looks like all the structural stuff in the knee is great and intact. That’s the positive thing to this point.
The Reds later announced the lineup for today's game, while C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer shed light on Votto's replacement:
It’s Pena’s first career start at 1st base. He’s played 4 games there before— ctrent (@ctrent) May 16, 2014
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com first reported Votto's knee injury that may cause him to be placed on the disabled list:
Sources: Votto did not make trip with #Reds, getting MRI on left knee. Stint on DL appears likely. Same knee that he had surgery on in 2012.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 16, 2014
The Reds are currently third in their division with a record of 18-21, and they trail the surprising Milwaukee Brewers by seven games.
Votto, who won the National League MVP Award in 2010, has suffered through an up-and-down season thus far. He is hitting just .257 with six home runs and 12 RBI, although he boasts an excellent on-base percentage of .410 due to his elite pitch selection at the plate.
The 30-year-old star has been named to the All-Star team in four consecutive seasons and has been key to Cincinnati's regular-season success in recent years.
As evidenced by these stats courtesy of ESPN 1530's Lance McAlister, the month of May hasn't been kind to Votto:
Votto .209 BA, .346 OBP in May, 2 HR, 2 RBI in 43 AB. #Reds— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) May 16, 2014
According to Gary Schatz of The Associated Press (h/t Kentucky.com), Votto recently intimated that his production would eventually come around. "At the end of the year, you'll look up and I'll be about the same," he said. "The frustrating part is my struggles have coincided with a number of close losses."
It is unclear when Votto suffered the injury, so it is possible that it has nagged him over the course of the season. If that is the case, then it might explain his recent ineffectiveness.
Can the Reds contend without Votto?
Should Votto go on the DL, his absence will hurt the depth of Cincinnati's lineup significantly. Even when he isn't hitting well, he offers protection to other hitters in the lineup.
Add in the fact that outfielder Jay Bruce is on the shelf with a knee injury of his own, and the Reds offense is on the verge of becoming anemic.
Pitching and defense will have to step up without star hitters in the lineup, but it may be too late for the Reds to get back into the playoff race by the time Votto and Bruce return.
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