Pinch-running for Votto
One of the things that came during Monday’s 1-0 Reds loss to the Padres was a rarity. In the ninth inning after a leadoff single, Joey Votto was lifted for pinch-runner Chris Heisey.
It’s the latest sign all is not going swimmingly with Votto’s left leg, which had a quadriceps strain above the knee. Votto didn’t want to talk about the injury before the game on Monday, which is his prerogative. But he is maintaining that if he’s playing, consider him 100 percent.
Reds manager Bryan Price has maintained that he knows Votto isn’t at 100 percent.
“It’s an indication he’s not running at full speed,” Price said on Tuesday. “I think that’s apparent. The other part was that Chris Heisey was a better option to steal a base there and that was a consideration in that situation with a guy like Street in there that doesn’t have a lot of innings where he gives up two, three or four hits in an inning. He’s had a nice season. It was one of those risk-reward moments.”
Votto, who lacks a homer since his June 10 activation from the DL, could be a future pinch-runner candidate in my mind if he isn’t able to run at full speed. In the short term, that could be tough at times since the Reds are short one man on the bench.