Should Votto return?
In a little while on Reds.com/MLB.com, I will have the latest update on injured Reds 1B Joey Votto, who has been on the disabled list since July 8 with a distal strain of his left quadriceps.
There has been progress, manager Bryan Price said on Wednesday. But Price also noted there is a long way to go baseball-wise, before setting a timetable — or even thinking about a timetable, to get Votto activated again this season. The club is still trying to get him on the field — this season.
“His commitment to playing and our commitment to wanting to play is important. It deserves every attempt,” Price said. “If we said hey ‘you can play in a week and play the last several days of the season,’ that might be something we deem worthy as a stepping stone into 2015. To get him ready to have a single commemorative at-bat in the last game of the season isn’t really the goal.”
My opinion: There are 16 games left after today. Votto has little to gain from coming back this season and in a way, more to lose. Let’s say he can play the final week of the season and he hits the cover off the ball — many fans would probably say “it’s too little, too late,” or “why couldn’t he have come back when the season was still meaningful?” If he comes back and performs terribly, it only leaves a bad taste to end the season and leaves no optimism for next season. He also risks re-injury, even if he appeared to be 100 percent. Many non-contending clubs, at this point, would not attempt to bring back a star player from an injury this late in a season.
There could be other motivations at play, like giving fans another reason to come to the ballpark or just something as simple as he should play since he’s being paid to play. But I think it’s time to shut it down and look to 2015 when the Reds will very badly need Votto to be 100 percent and able to contribute.