Updates from Tuesday, July 22
First baseman Joey Votto, on the disabled list with a distal strain of his left quadriceps, underwent the second of two rounds of platelet-rich plasma injections on Monday.
'That is a part of his recovery,' Price said. 'There's a couple of days of ... I don't want to say total inactivity, but resting it and not doing a lot on the knee and then returning to his rehab protocol. It's a good thing, because it's a part of his recovery that we think is going to be very effective.'
Updates from Sunday, July 20
ESPN's Jim Bowden provides a synopsis of Reds general manager Walt Jocketty discussing the updated timetable for Joey Votto's potential return:
#Reds GM Walt Jocketty just told us that both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are approximately 5 weeks away…ouch Sirius 209 XM 89— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 20, 2014
Earlier this week, Manny Randhawa of MLB.com provided a statement from Reds manager Bryan Price discussing Votto's recovery and potential return:
It's so far out, and when I say 'far out,' it's more weeks; I'm not talking about months and months and months. But with both Brandon [Phillips] and Joey, we're talking more about weeks than days. So I think it would be reckless of me to suggest there's a due date on when either one of them would be back.
Updates from Tuesday, July 8
The Cincinnati Reds have confirmed Joey Votto's move to the DL:
Joey Votto to the DL. @cuban2727 returns from paternity leave.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 8, 2014
Manny Randhawa of MLB.com provides details from manager Bryan Price:
We did a full workup on Joey yesterday," manager Bryan Price said before Tuesday's day-night doubleheader against the Cubs. "There's definitely more soreness and a continued issue with it. It's something that he's just not going to be able to play on."
Price added that "it's probably not a 10- to 15-day issue," indicating Votto will likely be out longer.
Cincinnati Reds star first baseman Joey Votto sat out Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The blame, once again, was on a nagging left quadriceps injury.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported the ominous news:
Sources: #Reds' Votto likely headed back to DL with same injury as before - strained left quad.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 6, 2014
During the Reds' last series in San Diego, Votto implied that he was fit enough to take the field.
"I should expect the very best from me if I'm out there," said Votto, per Cincinnati.com's John Fay. "If you're on the (disabled list), you're not playing...If I'm on the field not performing well, it's because I'm not performing well, not because I'm not healthy."
Now it looks like Votto is indeed headed back to the disabled list, which is bad news for the Reds, according to David Schoenfield of ESPN.com:
It doesn't matter how the Reds ultimately patchwork the lineup once Votto lands on the DL as expected. The Reds need Votto if they're going to make the playoffs; better yet, they need a healthy Votto. He's essentially been playing on one leg, and it's showed in his numbers. Since returning from a DL stint earlier this year, he's hit .250 with no home runs and a .699 OPS, as opposed to .859 before the DL.
Votto has had trouble finding his groove in the 2014 MLB season, batting just .255 with six homers and having played just 62 of a possible 87 games. Offense already hasn't been the Reds' strong suit this year, as they've relied on premier pitching to hover above .500, at 45-42, not long before the All-Star break.
Will the Reds make the playoffs with Joey Votto ailing?
At least there is a bit of a break in the action coming for Cincinnati, though it is impossible to replicate Votto's typical elite production at the plate. However, the past National League MVP hasn't been himself all year, and the outlook for the Reds' lineup is even more precarious moving forward.
This is a difficult situation to manage. With how well Cincinnati's pitching staff is starting games, the Reds could be a dangerous postseason contender. The NL Central division is very competitive, though, so there is a need to balance Votto's long-term well-being and Cincinnati's playoff hopes.
Those aren't exactly mutually exclusive, given that Votto's bat could provide a needed spark if he is healthier toward the end of the regular season.