Votto better, but still out

Thurs lineup vs. PIT

Cabrera 6
Cairo 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Hernandez 2
Cueto 1

*Joey Votto seemed relaxed at his locker but walking around, he didn’t look quite as good. A stiff neck has kept him out another game. It appeared doubtful Votto would be available to pinch-hit.

“It’s better than yesterday,” Votto said. “Yesterday wasn’t a very good day. I really didn’t feel that well. I came and talked to Dusty and ran in by Paul [Lessard, head trainer]. They came to the conclusion that I should take the day off.”

*Sam LeCure arrived from Louisville today and was ready to get started. He was handed his No. 63 jersey and cap as reporters were at his locker.

“This is what everybody works for,” LeCure said. “Anybody who has ever put on a uniform, this is the pinnacle. It’s taken some time and some bumps in the road. I know it’s so clich and I promised myself I wouldn’t say it, but the closer it gets, the anxiety starts to build. I’m sure it won’t really set in until I get out there and I’m warming up tomorrow.”

LeCure was picked over Matt Maloney and Travis Wood to replace the injured Homer Bailey in the rotation.

“He’s been pitching the best,” Dusty Baker said. “Houston generally does better against left-handers than right-handers. Maloney has been pitching well too. Chapman has the blister. You want to go with who’s been pitching and throwing the best. You try to have a guy here that’s earned it as often as possible. You can’t always do it.”

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