Jay Bruce is in and Joey Votto is out as the revolving door that connects the Cincinnati Reds roster to their disabled list remains in full swing. Bruce came off the disables list yesterday, Votto went on and the Reds still have not fielded a roster that does not a full compliment of healthy players.
Votto’s stint on the disabled list is retroactive to May so he will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list June 1. The Reds first baseman and 2011 National League Most Valuable Player has not been the same player this season, hitting just .257 with six home runs and 12 RBI so far.
In a season that has seen almost nothing go right for them, the absence of Votto the MVP type player would be the most damaging over the course of a full season. That is saying a lot when considering the totality of injuries the Cincinnati Reds have suffered so far but the offense to this point has sputtered without the usual threat Votto provides in the middle of the order. Reds manager Bryan Price has seemingly resigned himself to the fact Votto will not be 100 percent this season but wants to get him as healthy as possible.
“We want him back as Joey Votto, not as a shell or shadow of who he is,” Price said last week in a reference to not only this season but Votto’s career. “We want him to play confidently on that knee and that leg for the rest of the season and the rest of his career moving forward.”
Just before Wednesday’s game the Reds announced that Bruce was being activated but was not in the starting lineup. Bruce has also been a slump this season, hitting .216 with three home runs, but Price is hoping the time off to rehab his left knee will revive the outfielder who will take Votto’s spot in the middle of the order for now. So with Bruce in and Votto out at the Reds get some relief from the injury bug.
Injured Knees Contagious – A distal quadriceps strain is the technical diagnosis for Votto but the translation would be a strain of the cruciate ligament in his left knee. Bruce’s injury was a partially torn meniscus that was also in the left knee. So when outfielder Ryan Ludwick came up lame before Wednesday night’s game the injury was predictable for a Cincinnati Reds team cursed this season. It was the left knee again as Ludwick is suffering from swelling above the knee cap. Price hopes that between sitting out Wednesday and no game on Thursday Ludwick will be ready for the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night when they invade Great American Ballpark for a three game series.
To recap, the Reds have Bruce in and Votto out. Ludwick is out but temporarily so. Aroldis Chapman, Tony Cingrani, Jonathan Broxton and Devin Mesoraco are back. No. 2 starter and right-hander Mat Latos is still out for at least another ten days and a key relief pitcher from last season’s wild card team, Brett Marshall will remain on the 60-day disabled list for the foreseeable future as well. That is the bad news. The good news is the Cincinnati Reds are only five games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the loss column.
Commentary by Mick Varner
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Cincinnati Reds