Before Friday’s game, the Reds and MLB Network honored Joey Votto for his being voted on Twitter as the “Face Of MLB” during a contest in Spring Training.
During a TV interview with MLB Network’s Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds, Votto was quite humble and expressed his gratitude.
“Thank you so much to the fans. I can’t tell you, and I’m being sincere when I say this, it means a tremendous amount to me. Because even if the Bryce Harpers and the Matt Kemps and the big superstars of our game win it in the future, I’ll always be able to say a player from Cincinnati, a player from a Midwest team, a Canadian player born in Toronto, won the Face of Major League Baseball. That was a byproduct of the fans. I can’t take credit for it, but I certainly can show my appreciation. I’m always going to remember this. I can’t wait to receive the award on the field and hear what the fans have to say.”
For the Reds Tweetup held before the game, fans received special Votto “Face of MLB” shirts.
Reds outfielder Chris Heisey, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 29, is expected to leave for a rehab assignment Sunday at Double-A Pensacola, and begin playing on Monday.
“We hope he goes out to play,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Even though he wasn’t doing quite as well as he wanted to or we wanted to, we still need him, especially [with] our left-handed strong lineup and especially off the bench.”
Backup outfielder Derrick Robinson has been limited in recent games because of a sore oblique. A switch-hitter, Robinson was unable to bat from the left side.
“I’m feeling a lot better. Today is the first day I can do everything,” Robinson said.
The other day I got that wrong – and had Robinson unable to bat right-handed. Sorry for my mistake. It certainly is a small P.S. to the second-guessing over letting Mike Leake bat for himself on Wednesday. I still have no problem with Leake hitting for himself.
*Roster move was made: Catcher Ryan Hanigan (left oblique, right thumb) was activated from the 15-day DL. Catcher Corky Miller was designated for assignment. Hanigan was 3-for-8 with two RBIs in three games for Triple-A Louisville on his rehab assignment.
*RHP Johnny Cueto (right lat, right oblique) pitched three innings with one run and four hits, no walks and four strikeouts in his rehab assignment for Class A Dayton last night.
*A rehab assignment schedule for OF Chris Heisey (right hamstring) is tentatively expected to be determined later this week.
It was a decision that will bring out second guessers when Dusty Baker let Mike Leake hit for himself with two on and two out in the seventh. Leake had 96 pitches during seven very well pitched innings. Sean Marshall and J.J. Hoover were warming in the bullpen. The safe move would have been to bat for Leake.
Leake batted and flied out and then gave up two hits that led to a five-run top of the eighth in a 7-2 Reds loss.
With bench options thin, Leake was the best hitting option from the right-side vs. LHP Mike Minor.
“Not to take anything away from our guys, he’s the best right-handed hitter we had on the bench,” Baker said of Leake. “It didn’t work. I’m not going to make alibis or whatever when it doesn’t work. It’s not always going to work.”
Atlanta did have two lefties bat in the 8th in Schafer and Freddie Freeman with the right-handed Simon in between. Sean Marshall was 100 points worst last season vs. righties (.273 to .173). Leake was in command of the game until the eighth. I get the decision. It just backfired.
I go into more detail on Baker’s thought process — click here to read my full game story on MLB.com.
The Reds streak of five-straight winning home series to start 2013 is over.
No. 3 star: Zack Cozart — 2-for-4, HR. Cozart also made a nice diving stop and throw to the plate for a fielder’s choice play on Dan Uggla in the eighth. It only temporarily held off Atlanta, who got a grand slam from Juan Francisco off J.J. Hoover on the next at-bat.
No. 2 star: Dan Uggla, ATL — 2-for-4, 2 HRs — Uggla took Leake deep for solo homers in the fourth and six innings.
No. 1 star: Mike Minor, ATL — 7 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 117 pitches/74 strikes. — Left-handed hitters had a particularly tough day vs. Minor. Joey Votto was 0-for-4 overall to snap a 10-game hitting streak. Shin-Soo Choo was also 0-for-4.
UPDATE: It turns out that Johnny Cueto will be joining Class A Dayton on Thursday to begin a rehab assignment against Lansing.
The Reds will be off on Thursday but ace Johnny Cueto will be at the ballpark to get some work in. Cueto said he was scheduled to have another bullpen session. On Monday, he threw 25 pitches from the mound and felt no ill-effects in his oblique area.
“I feel pretty good,” Cueto said.
On Wednesday morning, Cueto played catch on the field with Miguel Cairo and appeared to be throwing nice and easy.
Cueto has been on the 15-day DL with a strained right lat but had a setback last week during an exam when he felt soreness in the right oblique.
Reds lineup vs. Braves:
Three Stars from a 7-4 Reds loss to the Braves:
Click here for the full game story.
No. 3 star: Alfredo Simon: 2 ip, 6 K — Simon struck out all six batters faced. One of the K’s was No. 11 of the night, which provided the loudest ovation on what felt like a blah night. Fans once again were guaranteed free pizza. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Simon’s six consecutive strikeouts are the most by a Reds pitcher since RAaron Harang struck out seven straight in a relief appearance on 5/25/08 at San Diego (you remember that game I’m sure).
No. 2 star: Paul Maholm, ATL — 5 2/3 ip, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K — Maholm retired his first seven batters in a row until a Derrick Robinson single in the bottom of the third. The Reds didn’t get to Maholm until the two-run fourth inning.
“He did whatever he wanted to do tonight,” Braves catcher Brian McCann said. “He had both sides of the plate working, slowed it down with the curveball, pounded them in with the cutter. When he’s got both sides of the plate working, he’s going to win a lot of ball games.”
No. 1 star: Andrelton Simmons, ATL — 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 runs — Simmon took Bronson Arroyo deep for a leadoff homer in the second inning, hit a RBI single in the fourth inning and hit a two-run shot off Logan Ondrusek that made for good insurance in the eighth. It was his first multi-homer game and the four RBIs were a career high.
*Reds pitchers struck out 15 batters in the game, the staff’s third time they’ve reached that number this season.
*Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch for the MLB leading 11th time in the fifth.
Reds ace Johnny Cueto appears to have gotten over the setback to his right oblique. Cueto long tossed on Monday and threw 25 pitches in the bullpen.
“He did very well. He looked very good and said he felt very good,” head trainer Paul Lessard said.
Cueto is scheduled to see Dr. Tim Kremchek later today and will probably have another bullpen session before thoughts of a rehab assignment resume.
Before going out to throw, Cueto seemed to be feeling positive about his health.
“I feel good. I feel better in my oblique,” Cueto said.
Cueto, who is on the 15-day DL because of a strained right lat, came down with oblique soreness during his exam with Kremchek on Thursday.
“It was a little sore,” Cueto said. “I didn’t feel it when I threww but did when he touched it.”
*In other injury news, catcher Ryan Hanigan will be checked out by Kremchek also today. If all goes as expected, Hanigan (oblique, thumb injuries) will join Triple-A Louisville on a rehab assignment Tuesday at Lehigh Valley.