Joey Votto’s first rehab assignment game is done at Class A Dayton. Votto was lifted in the fifth inning after he was 0-for-1 with a strikeout and a walk.
“That I’m able to play tonight speaks to the progress I’ve made,” Votto told reporters in Dayton before the game. “I’m happy that I am finally back out on the field playing with the team and I’m able to play in a game. I’m not 100 percent yet, but usually when you do your rehab games, you aren’t.”
*Dusty Baker expects to have Votto back with the Reds on Saturday, aka Sept. 1 when rosters are allowed to expand.
“Then you’d have to send somebody out and you couldn’t get them back for x-amount of time,” Baker said. “Every game is important but at the same time, you have to do what’s important, what’s best for the team. I’d like to have Joey back yesterday if I could get him.”
*In other news semi-related, you can eliminate shortstop as a possible position for Todd Frazier as Baker will look to mix and match with him around the field. Frazier will not be spelling Zack Cozart.
“I have a true shortstop in Wilson [Valdez]. You can’t just put guys some place,” Baker said. “It’s going to cost you defensively. You’ve seen how close our games are. You cannot give away outs. It’s not fair to put a guy out there in a position where he doesn’t belong. We tried that last year with [Yonder] Alonso.”
*RHP Nick Masset, who suffered a setback last week during his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville, got bad news. His latest MRI, taken over the weekend, showed no improvement from a previous MRI test taken in April. Masset has been shut down.
“The lucky part is we don’t treat the MRI, we treat the symptoms,” head trainer Paul Lessard said. “His strength is tremendous. But still on occasion, he’s having generalized soreness. It’s not in a specific spot where he has it. We’re trying to get everything calmed down and keep strengthening.”
Lessard wouldn’t speculate on what’s next for Masset, game wise, but with the Minor League season close to wrapping up, it’s a good assumption this setback might have erased any shot Masset had to pitch for the Reds this season.