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.