Votto swinging, throwing

Reds 1B Joey Votto, who has been on the disabled list since July 8 with a distal strain of his left quadriceps, had a bat in his hands and a glove under his arm. The glove had a ball inside of it. And he was wearing his spikes.

It was the first signs that Votto was engaged in baseball activity again.

“I’m taking some dry swings and throwing,” Votto said.

Dry swings are simply swinging the bat without hitting a ball. Votto says he’ll take a swing here and there during breaks in the weight room.

“You can’t go from zero-to-100 at once,” Votto said.

*Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is getting his usual night off with Brayan Pena catching for starter Johnny Cueto. The day off might be a good time for Mesoraco, who is 0-for-11 on the home stand and 1-for-his-last-32. It’s dropped his average from .301 to .273.

“It’s not so much the day off, it’s really getting back to being himself at the plate,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s doing a nice job behind the plate blocking. I don’t know if anybody is taking a lot of notice but he’s doing a terrific job behind the plate blocking and throwing. He’s much improved, as is Brayan Pena, in large part to the work done with [catching coach] Mike Stefanski. I’m really happy with that. However, he has struggled with the bat here. A little bit more time addressing that with Don and Lee probably is helpful.”

Game 132: Cubs at Reds

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Games 130-131: Braves at Reds

I’m taking Saturday and Sunday off. Back on Tuesday.

Game 129: Braves at Reds

Hamilton 8
Frazier 3
Phillips 4
Mesoraco 2
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Negron 5
Cozart 6
Latos 1

Votto speaks about injury

Reds 1B Joey Votto has kept a pretty low profile since he went back on the disabled list July 8 with a distal strain of his left quadriceps. The information about his progress has been limited and no one heard much from Votto himself — until today.

While talking about his rehab on Thursday, Votto addressed the narrative of people questioning his inability to play and that he hasn’t come back sooner. (There is still no timetable on his return).

“Let’s make it clear here — I think there’s been a real gray area and I feel like I’ve been the one in the crosshairs — I’ve been injured,” Votto said. “I feel like this is something I’ve had hanging over me in the general population, the fans, I think it’s a toughness, or playing through pain sort of thing, or playing hurt sort of thing. I’ve been injured. I played injured. I went on the DL because I’m injured. I’m trying to be un-injured now.

“So the second I’m capable of playing and I’m no longer injured, I’ll be back on the field. In the meantime, you can assume I’m injured. I shouldn’t get some sort of different treatment, as if this is — I’ve noticed little comments here and there and just a general perception that this is something I elected to do. I didn’t elect to be injured. I am injured. People get injured. I am injured. What can I do? At some point I’ll be back playing like I was playing before.”

I will have more later on MLB.com/Reds.com.

Angels need starter, Reds have them

As the Reds lousy 1-6 road trip was in its final woeful game vs. the Cardinals last night, the Angels got a huge bummer when top starting pitcher Garrett Richards went down with a knee injury covering first base. Richards, who was carted off the field, will be out for the season.

Read the story from MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez here.

What does this mean for the Reds? It could mean that the contending Angels might be calling GMs, including the Reds’ Walt Jocketty to inquire about starters.

Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon are all headed to third-year of arbitration eligibility with the Reds Deals after July 31 are harder to make. Players have to clear waivers, etc. But if there’s a deal to be had and the Reds can get some help for 2015 with 2014 looking as bleak as ever, it’d be smart to at least take a look.

Game 128: Braves at Reds

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Game 127: Reds at Cardinals

Hamilton 8
Bruce 9
Frazier 3
Ludwick 7
Pena 2
Phillips 4
Santiago 5
Cozart 6
Cueto 1

Talking to Hoover

I know fans don’t want to hear it, but J.J Hoover was stand up and accountable after Tuesday’s latest walk-off loss. I waited for him at his locker and he wore the loss.

“I wasn’t really hitting any spots out there tonight,” Hoover told MLB.com. “The first time I had the bases loaded, I thought I executed some good pitches. The second inning, I couldn’t find it from the beginning. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t overly amped up. I have all the confidence in the world I can do that job. I didn’t have it tonight, and that’s very frustrating.”

Hoover — now 1-10 with a 5.37 ERA in 45 games, gave up the walk off homer in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader but Tuesday felt much worse.

“In Colorado, I thought I made a decent pitch trying to get back in the at-bat and Stubbs hit to one of the deepest parts of the field, but it looked like it scraped the wall,” Hoover said. “I wasn’t as mad about that one as I was today. That was probably the worst game of my professional life, and even amateur. I’m just kind of embarrassed by it. I know I’m a better pitcher than that. I was just starting to get on a roll. I just didn’t have any feel out there tonight. I just hate that I let the team down again.”

Game 126: Reds at Cardinals

Hamilton 8
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Mesoraco 2
Ludwick 7
Phillips 4
Pena 3
Cozart 6
Simon 1

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