Joey Votto and Mat Latos have left the Louisville Bats according to a report by Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans. The Louisville Bats tweeted about an hour ago that Votto and Latos were not with that team.

Assuming that Votto and Latos aren’t hitch-hiking back to Cincinnati, both should be back in the Queen City tonight. The Reds have not announced Votto’s activation. Latos does not need to be activated until Saturday, when he would start against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

In case you were wondering (and you should be) how many games have Votto, Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco played together, the answer is thirteen, from April 8-25. The team’s record in those games was 7-6.

85 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso

    John Fay speculates that Votto will be activated but may not be in the lineup. That’s how the Reds handled Jay Bruce’s return. I’d be shocked if that’s what happens.

  2. Steve Mancuso

    I sure would love to see this lineup tonight:

    1. Votto 1B
    2. Frazier 3B
    3. Bruce RF
    4. Mesoraco C
    5. Phillips 2B
    6. Take Your Pick LF
    7. Hamilton CF
    8. Cozart SS
    9. Leake P

    • NCRedsFan

      I like that lineup. Try it for at least two series. I’ll take Hamilton anywhere 7-9 just to see if it makes a difference. Can it be any worse than how things are going now? I wouldn’t mind seeing ludwick play a solid 2 weeks as well, just to see how he responds…

      • Eric the Red

        I’d like to see Heisey get those 2 solid weeks, plus the rest to the All Star break. Contrary to popular belief, he’s never actually been handed the job and started regularly like that.

      • Vicferrari

        I question that he has not been given opportunity to start regurlarly, maybe not handed the job, but to me he has not taken the chances he has been given and is not good enough.

      • Shchi Cossack

        I’d like to see the Big Lutz play a solid 2 weeks in LF against both RHP & LHP to see how he handles it. He’s the only one in the mix who hasn’t even seen a wiff of a chance. If Lutz siezes the opportuntiy and runs (slugs) with it, let it play out. If Lutz fails to sieze the opportunity, option him to AAA after 2 weeks and nothing is lost.

      • Michael J Hampton

        I would, too, but I’m guessing Lutz is headed back to AAA tonight (at least I hope so if Price won’t play him). I think whoever made the decision to bring Lutz up, intended for him to play a lot more than Price has allowed him to or else why bring him up. Soto could have filled the role that Price used him in and he could have continued his development at AAA. I realize that Pena was hot so I don’t necessarily disagree with playing Pena at 1B, but Price has let Lutz rust on the bench while playing Santiago out of position in a role he was not signed for and then playing Bernadina the same way. Lutz should have gotten at least twice as much playing time as he did, he should have got more starts at first and some in LF. IMHO that’s poor judgement by Price.

    • Drew

      $200 million dollar leadoff man..wow…

      • ToddAlmighty

        Eh, Choo was paid $130m to be a leadoff hitter.

      • Drew

        And that was overpyaing. But at least he is your more typical leadoff hitter over votto who is no where near being a leadoff hitter and hopefully the baseball people running the Reds know that.

      • i71_Exile

        I’ll take it. The more Joey at bats, the better. It’s not my money. Bob can spend it however he wants.

      • Drew

        We have our leadoff hitter, his name is Hamilton.

      • CP

        We have a guy named Hamilton batting leadoff, but no leadoff hitter.

      • Drew

        Why isn’t he? He is young and learning, let him learn, he has done much better to this point then I bet anyone would have thought.

      • CP

        Drew,

        In your opinion, what is the primary job of the leadoff hitter?

      • Drew

        As with all hitters, to get on base, and yes Hamilton is not where you would like your leadoff hitter to be, however, it will happen I believe and this is where you have to have faith in your young players that they will get better and demoting them doesn’t do that. Lets allow Hamilton a chance to grow and learn in that spot.

      • Ken

        The problem is not who is hitting lead-off, the problem is the failure of all those below lead-off to hit with runners in scoring position.

    • WVRedlegs

      Not bad. At least the four best hitters would get the 4 most at bats in a game. As long as Leake is pitching, might as well experiment a little further and bump up he and Cozart one spot and bat Hamilton 9th in front of Votto.

      • Drew

        If the objective is to have the best hitters hit then it’s time for MLB to change. Stop with this old idea of people playing both ways. It’s time for teams to field a “hitting” team and a fielding team. Just like in the NFL, where players play either offense or defense, it’s time for MLB to do that also and you solve your problem of bad fielders in the field and bad hitters at the plate.

    • John Walsh

      Joey has already says he prefers Hamilton batting in front of him (so 9 if anything). Or as I think you said the other night, put Hamilton at 6/7 so that he can get into scoring position in front of guys most definitely not hitting doubles.

      That said, I’m less concerned with Hamilton at leadoff and more concerned about breaking up the high OBP guys at 2/3/4. Drop BP et al.

    • preacherj

      Indeed. That corner outfield spot needs to perform on any team. Ouch, indeed.

  3. redmountain

    Absolutely absurd. A guy batting 207, hitting third. Votto will not be ready to hit consistently for several weeks. At lead-off he also clogs the bases since he cannot run. Hamilton, Phillips, Votto, Frazier, Bruce, Mesoraco, LF, Cozart, P

    • preacherj

      Yeah, Bruce cannot hit third right now. Seems like a case of giving a guy a spot because of past performance……wait, isn’t that what old school guys are accused of?

      • preacherj

        Of course, it does make the lineup go lefty, righty……doh, another thing old school guys are accused of!

  4. Michael J Hampton

    Honestly, I want to see a healthy Joey Votto and I want to see that Votto batting 3rd. He doesn’t have to be 2010 Joey, I’ll take 2011 Joey, I never really thought he would be a 35-40 HR guy anyway, more like a .320/25+ HR (.900+ OPS) guy which would be more than good enough for me.

    • ToddAlmighty

      That reminds me of a broadcast last year, they were like ESPN guys or something like that doing the color/play-by-play and they were going on about how Joey Votto in GABP should be hitting like 50 HR a year.. and I was like “Are we talking about the same Votto?” Even 2010 Votto probably would only hit 30 HR if he played in a pitcher friendly park. I see Votto as a 25-30 HR, 40-50 2B guy. The doubles are what I want to see return.

      I also try to not be critical about him as long as he’s hitting over .300, his OBP is .400 or higher, and his SLG is .500 or higher. Hard to be upset as long as those two are met because that’d mean he’s right near his career averages of .312/.419/.537

  5. Steve Mancuso

    Lineup late coming out. Probably Price wanting to talk to a player or two before he posts it.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    A lot of rain in tonight’s forecast. 70-80% chance of rain all through the evening.

  7. Michael J Hampton

    If they activate Joey tonight, do you think they might send Cingrani down to AAA? If they did, they could keep an extra man until they activate Latos on Saturday.

    • Michael J Hampton

      Uh nope, Votto activated Lutz optioned to Louisville. Go get ’em Joey, and good luck big Lutz, get you some playing time and show them what you can do.

      • WVRedlegs

        Votto starting at 1B batting 3rd. Schu in LF. Mes at C.

      • preacherj

        So…..if Pena is catching or has been burned as a pinch hitter we once again run into the ‘no backup’ situation for a guy just coming off the DL? And Pena wasn’t really a backup to begin with. Who constructs this roster?

      • pinson343

        I don’t know, but I hope I don’t see Bernadina at first base again.

      • pinson343

        Another question is who the emergency catcher is now. Before it was Soto, I’m glad he’s gone. Price has been unafraid to pinch hit with the catcher on the bench, so he’s got to have someone in mind.

  8. WVRedlegs

    The Pirates have called up prized OF prospect Gregory Palanco. The Cards have already called up Taveras. And the Reds are getting Votto and Latos back. Things are getting serious now in the NL Central. And Walt is in his usual position, asleep at the wheel.
    88 wins could take the NL Central this year and Jocketty is willing to wait out injuries instead of seizing the moment. It is time to take the NL Central by the throat, stomp on the gas and don’t look back. Contenders or pretenders? Time for Walt to make up his mind.

    • pinson343

      Yes things are getting serious now. My hope was that the Reds could hover near .500 until Votto and Latos return. They’re 4 games under .500 (close enough) and only 3 1/2 games back in the wild card chase (Dodgers are the 2nd WC team).

      But right now the NL Central is still winnable. The Brewers are 8 games ahead but the Reds have a lot of games against them, more than half a season to go, and they’re beatable. The Cardinals are my biggest concern and they’re only 3 games ahead (2 in the loss column).

      Can a batting order that includes Votto, Bruce, Frazier and Mes turn the offense around ? I believe that Frazier can keep doing what he’s been doing, and now that Mes’ numbers have come down to earth, he can come close to what he’s done so far. It’s about Votto and Bruce. I don’t know any more about what’s going on with them than anyone else here, so I’ll leave it at that.

      It’s now abundantly clear to anyone that there’s a huge hole in LF. I’ll save that topic for another comment.

    • pinson343

      I believe that Walt makes a move to pick up a LFer this season. Last year he took a big gamble that Ludwick would return from the DL in decent form, he lost that gamble. He admitted that “mistakes were made” when he was asked about Byrd after the miserable ending of 2013.

      Right now he’ll give Ludwick more time to come around, you can count on that.
      But by mid-July, unless Ludwick has a miraculous turnaround, it will be very very clear that the Reds have to do something about LF, or it’s another lost season, with a window that’s closing fast (Cueto and Latos only signed thru 2015, etc.).

  9. WVRedlegs

    Manny Machado got a 5 game suspension. What he did was about as bush league as you could get for a MLB player. And only 5 games. BS !! It should have been at least 12 games.

    • Drew

      I watched the play…what am I missing? How many games does a pitcher get for throwing a ball at a batter? Maybe misses 1 game…

      • WVRedlegs

        You didn’t see him hit the catcher twice in the head with his bat. Picking an argument with the 3rd baseman and then swinging at a pitch and throwing his bat at said 3rd baseman and all the way down the 3rd base line. You missed alot.

  10. preacherj

    I really hate to see Joey’s first game back be in the rain. Here’s hoping the game is called.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Here’s hoping the next 100 games are called.

      • Drew

        Why? I was at friday’s night game which wasn’t pretty for the Reds yet I still had a great time and enjoyed the game. Just wondering, do you ever enjoy watching the Reds?

      • ToddAlmighty

        Quite often, I generally watch the games even if I don’t enjoy them though. Hence why I am commenting during probably a solid 80% of the game threads. It’s just not terribly fun to watch a team that is lifeless. Has been this way pretty much since before the end of last season.

      • ToddAlmighty

        It was also a bit of sarcasm. I’d be hella bored if baseball season ended this early.

  11. ToddAlmighty

    The almighty .395 SLG DPBP is back in the cleanup role. Thank God.

    • ToddAlmighty

      If anyone was curious, BP’s ISO is a whopping .026 higher than Billy Hamilton’s.

  12. Eric the Red

    I like BP, and think he’s still one of the best at his position defensively. That said, he’s just gone from being the worst #3 hitter in the league to being the worst #4 hitter in the league…

  13. al

    Back to Votto hitting 3rd and Phillips hitting cleanup. Why?

    • ToddAlmighty

      Because it worked so well for Baker, obviously.

      • Drew

        It’s interesitng how people seem to forget 2 division titles and 3 playoff appearances under Dusty Bakers tenure as manager…

      • al

        It was easy to forget since he made terrible decisions on a nightly basis. There’s a difference between winning because and winning in spite of.

      • WVRedlegs

        They had to give those titles back after getting no-hit and swept in the 2010 playoffs and getting up 2-0 on SF with 3 home games to play to just win 1 and instead lose all 3 in 2012.

      • Vicferrari

        Curious how many out there think Dusty has this team playing winning baseball right now?

    • pinson343

      Seems like Bruce is not going to bat cleanup again until he starts to hit. I’d rather see him batting cleanup than BP regardless.

  14. Drew

    With Votto hitting 3rd and Phillips hitting 4th do we know over say the past couple of seasons the Reds won games with them hitting in those spots?

    • pinson343

      The Reds had to win games with them batting in those spots, they did it so often and the Reds won a lot of games in 2012-2013. The amazing thing (I just wrote it below) is that the Reds won 97 games in 2012 with a .254 OBP from the leadoff spot.

  15. al

    OBPs for the Reds in tonight’s game:

    Hamilton .283
    Frazier .347
    Votto .410
    Phillips .308
    Bruce .319
    Mesoraco .352
    Schumaker .264
    Cozart .257

    Year after year after year it is shown over and over and over again that OBP is the single most important factor to scoring runs. The Reds still just don’t get it.

  16. pinson343

    The Reds have been contending the last few years thanks to pitching. In 2012, when the Reds won 97 regular season games, their OBP pct. from the lead off spot was .254 !

    • al

      By that logic, why not bat the pitcher first?

      • pinson343

        I wonder how many games the 2012 team would have won with Choo batting leadoff.

  17. al

    The easiest way to put together a lineup would be to just put the highest OBP guys first so that they make the fewest outs. Everything after that should be tweaking things to get good situations/protection.

    But clearly most major league managers can’t handle the responsibility of making those tweaks, so they should just go with the default.

    At the very least, just use the freely available lineup tools on the internet. The top 6 scoring lineups by the numbers all have Votto, Mesoraco, XX, Frazier. Might want to start there.

    • Drew

      Why even have managers at all. Just hire someone from some computer company, have him input the data and then each day just post what the computer spits out as the starting lineup…

      • al

        With how bad so many managers are at this, I wonder the same thing.

  18. al

    The projected difference between tonight’s lineup and the best lineup is .25 runs, which turns into 41 runs over a season, or the difference between going 81-81 and 85-77.

  19. Chris

    How do they really know the run differential between two projected lineups? Seriously…over the course of a season how do they determine the results are negligible? Every time I see that stated I find it amazingly difficult to believe and I think most of us do too. It MAY be true, but I am very skeptical.

    • Dale Pearl

      ditto. Impossible to project. So much goes into run production that goes beyond the stats of individual players.

      • al

        Just because you don’t understand statistical modeling, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It’s clearly impossible for you to project, but not for people who know what they are doing.

      • al

        The weird thing about these comments is that you talk about relying on data as if it is a belief system, and going by your gut as if that is somehow going against the grain.

        For more than 100 years of baseball history most people have been making decisions based on conventional wisdom and gut instinct. That is a belief system.

        Recently, people have tried to actually measure what goes on in a baseball game and use objective analysis. That is, look at what has happened in the past, and use that to project what will happen in the future. Then see how wrong the projection was, and refine it, based on new data.

        That is what is actually going against the grain. You’ve somehow managed to be so narrow that you’ve got it exactly backwards.

      • Michael J Hampton

        You guys need to develop a sense of humor. You guys are the ones acting like someone has stepped on something sacred. People have been statistically modeling the weather for years and have got pretty good at it. They are right maybe 50% of the time. You are making definitive statements (4+ wins, etc.) that may lie within the realm of probability but they cannot be absolute, yet you want people to believe that they are. You know the lineups, so model tonights game and tell me who wins, number of runs, errors, hits, bases on balls, hit batters, etc. See how close you can come. Yeah, I know, too small a sample size. Then model the rest of the season, for each game when they post the lineups, model it and see how you do. It would be an interesting experiment.

        We model control systems at work, but it’s machines/computers/hardware/software and thousands of variables. But there is no human element. We come pretty close, but it is a long way from being exact and again there is no human element. The human element is what makes sports and for me in particular, baseball, fun to watch and speculate on. You guys want to reduce it to a spreadsheet and take all of the fun out of it. When you can define the “human equation”, let me know, I would love to see it.

      • al

        M Hampton: If your comment was meant in jest, the I guess I misread it. Since you went on to have a lengthy and serious response, I kind of doubt it was.

        I think I said pretty clearly that it’s the numbers I was citing were based on projections. Obviously I watch the games for the same reason you do, and I’m not trying to explain away the humanity of the game.

        What I don’t understand is when you have evidence (aka data) to support one idea, and you have no data except conventional wisdom to support another, why you would keep going with the the latter. That’s not taking out the human element of a game, it’s wanting your team to get the most out of it’s players.

        There’s nothing definitive in any of that. What there is, is data vs no data. Data is just a fancy word for looking at what has happened in the past.

    • al

      The nice thing about baseball is that it provides you with so many games, so many at-bats, and ultimately so much data. That makes for very accurate statistical modeling. As I just posted above, it is clearly not negligible, in fact it can mean a significant (4+ win) difference. For a team on the bubble, that’s a lot.

  20. pinson343

    To accept that a statistical model that predicts won/lost records is “very accurate”, I’d need to see the inputs to the model, the probability distribution, margin of error, etc.
    How accurate is “very accurate” ?
    Who has published a scientific paper on this, I’d like to read it.

    As far as inputs go, how for example is the speed of a base runner and for that matter his base running skill represented in the model ? How is it even determined ?

    • pinson343

      Al, I just saw your post that refers to http://www.pankin.com/sabr34.pdf. I can start reading there. To fully model something as complex as baseball, simplifying assumptions have to be made. That’s what models do. As you say, over time the models can be refined.

      • al

        See Pinson, that is a very well thought out and reasonable response to advanced metrics. I totally agree with everything that you said above. Still, because baseball produces so much data (compared to other sports etc) the models can be more accurate.

        Assumptions have to be made, and those can be questioned, that is in fact the scientific method. Hypothesize (aka assume) and then test with data. To dismiss advanced stats as something for “true believers” makes no sense to me.

      • Michael J Hampton

        It was a joke, I don’t care for your arrogant condescending manner. You are the kind of person that give sabermetrics followers a bad name. You are an “expert” and can’t be questioned. In your case the “True Believer” label fits.

      • Michael J Hampton

        Lets just drop it right here, you’ve already stated that I’m too stupid to understand statistical modeling and to leave it to experts like you who know what they are doing so let’s just leave it at that. You obviously can’t take a joke that wasn’t even directed at you or even have a rational discussion with you.