On Saturday night Joey Votto played his first game in the field while on his rehab stint in Triple-A Louisville. He also had three hits, falling just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Prior to the game on Sunday in St. Louis Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell noted that it would be a possibility that Votto could return to the lineup on Tuesday when the team returns home from their road trip.

“They said it (thumb) was a little bit sore, but manageable,” said David Bell on Sunday afternoon.I think starting to sense that he’s ready to come back. So we’ll see, make sure not to get ahead of ourselves. Let him play again today and if everything goes well I do think there’s a chance he would be back with us on Tuesday.”

That would make this afternoon’s game in Louisville pretty important. Both the Reds and the Bats are off on Monday, which would make today’s game the potential final game on his rehab assignment. If he gets through the day and feels fine after another day in the field it could be Votto Time back in Cincinnati.

Mike Moustakas still progressing

It’s been just over three weeks since Mike Moustakas last made a start. He made two pinch hit appearances after that, but then hit the injured list with a heel injury and hasn’t played in a game since May 18th. The progress has been a bit slower than expected at the outset, but things are moving in the right direction.

“Moose is making progress,” said Bell on Sunday. “He did some running, throwing, swinging the bat. He’s still a week away, probably, from any serious discussion about going to get at-bats or picking a date where he could join our team.”

Progress is good, but it’s looking like the Reds second baseman is going to wind up missing at least a month with this injury. If he’s a week away from even discussing going to get at-bats, that would mark the 1-month point since his last start that took place in Colorado. While not everyone goes out on rehab stints, it’s likely that Moustakas would get some live at-bats somewhere after missing this much time.

Other Reds injury updates

On Michael Lorenzen

“Michael’s really closer than maybe I even gave him credit for.”

Earlier this week Bell noted that the All-Star break might be the time that Michael Lorenzen could return. But when Lorenzen spoke with the media about 24 hours later he said that because he was coming back as a reliever that didn’t need to build up as many innings that he felt he could return at the end of June.

On Nick Senzel

“I think right around that middle of July – right around the All-Star break would be a great time to be getting a few of those guys back.”

Senzel has been out since May 17th and had his knee scoped on May 28th. The typical timeline of returning from that kind of thing is 4-6 weeks. The All-Star break would be the 6-week mark, give or take a few days, from Senzel’s surgery.

On Max Schrock

“He seems to be recovering pretty quickly from that,” Bell said of Max Schrock.

A week ago against Philadelphia Schrock went 3-4 with a double, triple, and a home run. He exited the game after his double in the 7th inning with what turned out to be a calf strain, souring the best day he’d had at the plate in the big leagues.

30 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I’ll take my chance with this team healthy. That said, someone noted that getting Votto, Moose and Senzel back probably means less Stephenson, India, and Naquin. Hmm.

    • Tim

      I would hope that it would mean less Suarez, Shogo, and some of the call-ups we’ve recently had to rely upon. India needs to play 3-5 out of five starts and Stephenson the same. Both of these guys would make nice pinch hitters. I would like to see the Reds have to worry once again about playing time. I would definitely like to reduce the .156 BA number of plate appearances. The second half should be matchup choices and hot bats rather than a MASH unit.

      • RojoB

        Unfortunately I fear the Suarez being the “superstar” larger money contract, will not see his PT suffer at all.

      • Klugo

        Well, Votto is going to play over Stephenson. There’s no doubt about that. Will Stephenson play more behind the plate even with Barnhart showing excellent value this season? We’ll see.
        Will they move India and his hot bat and good play at 2nd to get Moose into the groove that India has already found? L/R matchups there? Or will Moose supplant Suarez, instead, where he is playing better, but still batting under .200.
        Shogo is swinging a good bat right now, as is Naquin. Where does Senzel go. Probably a L/R matchup right there, too with Shogo being then odd man out.
        Delicate balance between letting the young guys get PT and showing what they can do and giving the vets a chance to show why they’ve all been All-Stars.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        There couldn’t be much less Shogo than there’s already been. My guess is Votto, India, Suarez, Moose around the infield. Senzel isn’t back for awhile yet so I will worry about that when he’s ready.

    • Doc

      India is doing his best to make that decision even tougher.

      • Tomn

        I can’t imagine taking India out of the lineup right now. He’s been a spark plug with power and getting better and better. And he’s an excellent 2b defensively. In my mind Moose needs to earn his way back into the lineup. Maybe L-R swap with Suarez? Stephenson can get spot starts still at 1B and at C against LHs. He definitely needs to still be getting ABs

  2. magi210

    That’ll do nicely. Winker with the 2 run shot.

    • redsfan4040

      Based off his time in Louisville so far, I’d expect Aquino to be back as soon as he is eligible to be activated, which is a week from today.

      • Tomn

        Now THAT will be a problem. So many OFs: Winker, Cas are obvious starters. That leaves juggling Naquin, Akayama and Acquino. And what about Senzel? Hmmm. A trade in the offing?

  3. Max BRAGG

    Can we get a BIG lead and pitch FELIZ and BRACH again PLEASE!!!

    • LT

      I am dying to see that, so Wink will come to the rescue again.

  4. Still a Red

    Having Votto back presents the biggest problem. It means sitting Stephenson. When Moose comes back, given, I believe, he was suffering inflamed planar fascia, probably shouldn’t play every day, at least at first. It means less time for India, but manageable. Naquin/Shogo good ’til All Star game. Really have to tip our hats to the guys filling in…even Farmer…for keeping the team in the hunt.

    • Chris Holbert

      How can they sit India? He, with Winker and Castellanos, is currently a very potent top three in the lineup..

    • JoshG

      India has been and is the starting 2B… Votto/Moose returning shouldn’t affect that

  5. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    I like Max Schrock, his swing is short and compact, might be a late bloomer.

  6. LeRoy

    Suarez is having a terrible year average wise, but is still on pace for +35 home runs and 70 rbi’s. That wouldn’t be too shabby for a # 8 hitter so he still has value for some key hits. I wish him luck.

    • Chris Holbert

      If he was hitting 8th that would be nice…but for a middle of the lineup guy, not so nice

    • doofus

      …And 200 strikeouts.

      The Reds are paying him $10 million+ for just 70 RBI’s?

      • LT

        He’s a rally killer, but on the flip side he can win close games with a swing of a bat. I wouldn’t look at his contract. Contract mistakes are all over MLB. One good year, maybe with some cheating involved, can get a player a big contract. That’s how it goes.

  7. RedBaron

    Senzel should ride the pine if and when he returns. Naquin and India have show that they deserve to start over him.

    • doofus

      Senzel is a superior third baseman to El tornillo de corcho, both as a hitter and defender, book it!

      • MuddyCleats

        I get the Luv for India, I like the kid too. However, let’s at least try and be a little more objective. Over the last 15 days India is 12/30 w/ 6R, 2HR, 4RBIs and 2 steals.
        Naquin is 10/36 w/ 2R, 1HR, 8RBIs and 1 steal. Stevenson is 8/38 w/ 7,1,4.
        Barnhardt 7/31 w/ 5, 0 and 4RBIs.

        Everyone’s least favorite guy, Suarez, is 10/47 w/ 8R, 4HR, and 7 RBIs.

        I totally understand the intangibles of the game and all the little things that can and do make a difference, but IMO it really comes down to guys stopping runs, scoring runs or driving in runs and these numbers are not over and above what Suarez has produced. Oh yes, he has things to work on and improve, but he has produced AB and is still errorless @ 3B.

  8. MK

    Stephenson has outplayed Votto at the plate and in the field so far in 2021. I hope Votto coming back doesn’t weaken the line-up and kill the momentum they built in St. Louis. Don Mattingly with the Yankees were not winners whe he left the team they became winners .

    What kind of trade value might Tucker have at the deadline. Stephenson needs to become the #1 guy.

    • CallowayPost

      I agree Stephenson needs to be in the lineup, but I don’t know how he gets left at first base. He has shown he can field the position, but the instincts aren’t Votto instincts.

      I’m usually all for giving the young guys space and a place to play everyday, but it’s his rookie year. He looks comfortable, I don’t think adding taking over Votto’s position will help him or Votto.

      Making Tucker a number two to a rookie in June? I’d rather split playing time in the name of Tucker’s legs and Tyler’s game-calling.

      He’s a gold glover…but it’s unreal how many times I’ve watched him slam his knees into the dirt to block a ball. Take away his legs and you take awake his quickness, and whatever swing power he has.

      Votto was crushing, and is a presence. It was nothing Joey’s age caused. His thumb got broken.

      • LT

        Play the hot bats. Don’t overcomplicate things.

  9. doofus

    Joey Votto’s return to this team, does NOT improve it. He is overall the hill, kaput!