Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 24
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer has an update on Votto:
Joey Votto was back at Great American Ball Park taking part in pregame activities Tuesday, but Reds manager Bryan Price said there's no change in his status.
The Reds have continued to say they'd like Votto to play again this season, but with just five games remaining, they still haven't announced any kind of decision.
"He was doing everything – hitting in the cage, taking ground balls, running bases, by the last day there in St. Louis, but we'll probably know more on that in the next day or two, I'd imagine," Price said. "There's not a whole lot of time left."
Updates from Sunday, Sept. 21
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer provides a statement from Reds manager Bryan Price discussing Joey Votto's recovery:
Joey Votto has taken batting practice four straight days without any problem. That does not mean he will be activated.
'I don't have any idea,' Reds manager Bryan Price said. 'He's doing all the work. He ran the bases (Friday) and hit. But I'm not any closer to answering that question. I'm just going to leave it at that. Anything else would be speculative. We're in the Catch 22 situation.'
Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 16
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has an encouraging update on Joey Votto as he continues to rehab his quad injury:
Votto is taking batting practice on the field for first time since going on DL. #reds— John Fay (@johnfayman) September 16, 2014
Updates from Saturday, Sept. 6
John Fay of Cincinnati.com provides an update on Joey Votto's status from Reds manager Bryan Price:
Reds manager Bryan Price said the club has not considered shutting down Joey Votto's rehab and writing off Votto returning this season.
"Not at this point," Price said. "We've tried to stay the course with the expectation of getting him on the field when he's ready. We just don't know if we'll be able to get him on the field yet. There's been improvement since we were on the road. Things got better, although there hasn't been enough of an introduction to baseball activity to see how his knee will respond.
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
C. Trent Rosencrans of Cincinnati.com reported on Joey Votto's recovery:
Reds first baseman Joey Votto took ground balls on Wednesday, the first of his "baseball activity" on his way back from a left distal quad strain.
"Today's his first day of taking ground balls. I know he's played some light catch," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Really what was initiated before ethat was the running program and running for duration periods to initiate the start of some of these athletic exercises he need sot do, which starts with running, fielding and hitting in increments. So he's taking some ground balls today and we'll see how he recovers from that."
When asked if time was running out for Votto to be able to play in a minor-league game before a return to the big leagues, Price wouldn't commit either way, but it looks unlikely considering the minor league season ends Sept. 1.
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 26
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports on a positive development with Joey Votto:
Votto has begun taking "dry swings" and throwing. First baseball activity. #reds— John Fay (@johnfayman) August 26, 2014
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 21
Let’s make it clear here — I think there’s been a real gray area and I feel like I’ve been the one in the crosshairs — I’ve been injured. I feel like this is something I’ve had hanging over me in the general population, the fans, I think it’s a toughness, or playing through pain sort of thing, or playing hurt sort of thing. I’ve been injured. I played injured. I went on the DL because I’m injured. I’m trying to be un-injured now.
So the second I’m capable of playing and I’m no longer injured, I’ll be back on the field. In the meantime, you can assume I’m injured. I shouldn’t get some sort of different treatment, as if this is — I’ve noticed little comments here and there and just a general perception that this is something I elected to do. I didn’t elect to be injured. I am injured. People get injured. I am injured. What can I do? At some point I’ll be back playing like I was playing before.
Updates from Tuesday, July 22
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com provided an update on Joey Votto's recovery from a strained quadriceps:
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.