Votto activated, batting third
The Reds activated first baseman Joey Votto from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. To make room on the 25-man roster, first baseman/outfielder Donald Lutz was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
Votto had not played since May 15 because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps. He went on the DL May 21.
In two rehab assignment games with Louisville at Pawtucket, he was 2-for-6 with two singles.
Bryan Price mentioned more than once during this process that Votto likely wouldn’t be 100 percent again until next season with this injury. But Votto was not worried about that.
“I’m optimistic and hopeful that [the quad] will be cooperative and I’ll be able to play and make progress and continue to make improvements during the season,” Votto said. “I hold myself to a high standard and I wouldn’t come back unless I felt I could play to that high standard. I am not really concerned about what percentage people think that I’m at. I’m going to come back and play well.”
Votto enjoyed the two games with Louisville and playing at Pawtucket with them.
“Baseball was fun again down there. I love the guys down there and it was a really good time,” he said. “It reminded me of part of the reason why I play baseball. It has nothing to do with the actual game but playing with teammates and stuff and having a good time really kind of shook it up for me. For some reason, it helped me.
“It’s a challenge up here, both struggling when you’re injured and most importantly when the team isn’t playing well. Going down there was kind of a breath of fresh air combined with playing. This is exactly where I want to be and need to be but sometimes, a nice little surprise happens in life and that was down there.”
*The Reds went 11-12 while Votto was on the DL.
*I was wondering if Votto would be put back into the third spot of the lineup when he returned and indeed he was. Brandon Phillips went down to fourth. Good move in my opinion. Phillips had a slash line of .268/.303/.389 (.692 OPS) batting third this season with three homers and 19 RBIs. That’s not robust for that spot in the order and the team might be better served having him bat sixth or seventh because he can drive in runs pretty well from there too. But for now at least, Phillips is the cleanup hitter again, which he did for 127 games last season.
*More on Votto’s return to come on MLB.com/Reds.com, including comments from Price.