The Cincinnati Reds have activated first baseman Joey Votto from the injured list. Votto has been out with a broken thumb since May 7th – just over a full month. He has been rehabbing with the Louisville Bats for the last week, playing the last two games in the field. He is taking the spot on the 26-man roster of reliever Michael Feliz, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow injury.

Getting Joey Votto back could be a boost for the Reds offense. In his absence the Cincinnati first basemen have combined to hit .198/.317/.248 with just two doubles and one home run. That’s a .565 OPS. Even over the two weeks prior to the injury, when Votto was slumping, his OPS was .666 across 14 games played.

With Joey Votto returning, it’s the first step, hopefully, to the team getting closer to the lineup that they imagined would be there for much of the season. Aristides Aquino is eligible to return from the injured list and so far he’s performed quite well in his rehab stint with Triple-A Louisville. He’s hitting .444 with four walks, no strikeouts, a double, and a home run in his three games played.

Mike Moustakas is probably still a week or two away from returning, but that could be another step towards what the front office imagined being the lineup when they left Goodyear. Nick Senzel is still going to be out for a while, with an estimated 4-6 week recovery time after his surgery at the end of May.

Still, despite missing significant time from three of their starting eight players the Reds lead the league in average, and OPS, are second in on-base percentage and in slugging. It helps a lot when you have arguably the two best hitters in the league just crushing baseballs into the seats.

With Michael Feliz heading to the injured list the bullpen gets a bit more shallow. Of course Feliz has not had success since being picked up from Pittsburgh, allowing 13 hits and 12 earned runs in 6.2 innings since joining the club. Having the day off on Monday should help make up for being an arm short for the time being.

21 Responses

  1. Tim

    VS RHP: Barnhart catching, and Stephenson at first
    VS LHP: Stephenson Catching and Votto at first

    The numbers here make a lot of sense. Of course, give Stephenson some rest here and there.

    • MBS

      So sit Votto for 70% – 80% of the games? I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do hope they continue to use Stephenson to spell Votto. I think Votto needs more rest days than anyone else on the team.

      • JayTheRed

        Why not play Votto for 5 days a week and Stephenson the other two assuming no off days of course. If Votto is hot then let him play and give him a day or two off every two weeks. I know where paying Mr. Votto a ton of money so there’s that but This only makes some sense.

  2. Mark Moore

    Question on the protocols and mechanics for rehab stints this year. In the past, the MLB player rehabbed as close to home as possible. With L’ville on the road and Dayton not an option, does AA travel to continue his rehab?

    • ohiojimwalker

      The Punisher is in the Louisville lineup tonight, batting 2nd and playing RF. Of course, they just travelled another couple hours north past Dayton to Toledo.

  3. Grand Salami

    Lineup posted. 1-4 looks like a nucleus Bell likes. Guessing Moose should inherit #5 spot and whichever spot he plays better of 3rd/2nd. This leaves Suarez as odd man out unless he turns it around.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Akiyama at 9.

    • Rex

      Glad to see Akiyama in there. When Moose returns, Bell has to know we will come for him if he sits India and plays Suarez.

      loosing Feliz puts pressure on Doolittle and AG

      • MBS

        That is 100% going to happen, India’s time will be cut the most.

      • Klugo

        I imagine they’ll slide Suarez back to SS and keep India and 2nd.

      • Klugo

        Maybe a L/R thing at 3rd with Moose will get Farmer some days at SS.

      • Grand Salami

        Klugo I hope they are willing to move Suarez back. My fear is that Moose will simply be reinserted at second base. The other part of that fear is that management will believe Suarez is more comfortable at third. Suddenly becomes a question of whether India can play short, Or even should play short. And the squeeze is on India instead of farmer because of comfort and difference to veterans.

        It is not a far-fetched scenario, and perhaps slightly more likely an outcome than moving Suarez back to shortstop

      • RojoB

        Deference to veterans at the expense of team wins.

        And they wonder why they fail…

  4. Bred

    Naquin is out of the lineup. Is he still hurting?
    Y’all thunk the game will start on time? Looks like rain in the forecast. I’m outta state.
    I’d rather have a short pen than have Feliz pitch. Nothing personal… don’t know the guy, but don’t want him on the bump either. I’d say we got Blandino for that, but he is down.
    JV is back … that’s good news. I wonder how Tyler hit while playing first.

  5. Mark Moore

    Lineup is posted. I’d bat Shogo 9th, but that’s just me.

  6. DataDumpster

    It is nice to see Joey back in the lineup but all those injuries were really a blessing in disguise. We saw Nick and Jesse go from red to white hot while Stephenson and Naquin really stepped up given more playing time. India also seems to be coming back strongly. So, there are options for Stephenson at 1B, India at 2nd and Naquin for fill in as needed even if Suarez becomes the odd man out.

  7. Melvin

    Good to have Votto back. The Punisher doing well with no Ks. There needs to be a trade from the outfield. Akiyama odd man out.

    • Mark

      I agree trade Akiyama and his starter salary to Yankees. They lost their starting cf for the season and have no left handed hitting. Reds could get a nice young power arm for the bullpen back like Albert Abreu.

  8. Roger Garrett

    Joey plays every day when healthy as does Moose and Suarez.Our season depends on how they along with Castillo perform.We know some of the young guys will lose playing time.Suarez is not a short stop and for him to play there hurts the defense and with his struggling at the plate well you know.

    • DataDumpster

      Again, Suarez is not a shortstop and is not a lead off hitter. But, he is a .181 hitter the last 2 seasons (414 AB) and his home run rate is down to 1 per 14.8 ABs (compared to 1 in 11.7 ABs in 2019). I think this extended injury episode also shows that the Suarez SS experiment should be over. We have enough good bats to go around so Farmer at SS is the answer.

      • RojoB

        Suárez to the bench when Moose returns

        Otherwise no chance at all at the division