Probably not how Paul Lessard wants you testing out your knees, Joey (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images).
Since the last update, there have been some rather important injury situations to report on. Joey Votto is sidelined by knee surgery performed July 17. The timetable was 3-4 weeks, with Baker being quoted to the effect that Votto, while healing well, will not be rushed back. I am hopeful for a mid-August return, right on schedule. In the meantime, we fans can take some comfort in the fact that the team is playing well so far in Votto's absence, with a 6-2 record since his loss. The team regained possession of 1st place as well, but losing an MVP-caliber player is obviously not something any team relishes trying to overcome in a pennant race.
Since returning to the lineup, Scott Rolen has played just about every game, starting 19 of 22 games. Good news: his OPS is a respectable .760. Part of the full-time allotment is probably due to Votto's injury, but Rolen's playing time is basically going to be a non-issue for the next 3 weeks, regardless of his performance. After that, we'll have to trust that Dusty knows what he's doing.
Johnny Cueto had a start moved back because of a blister on his pitching hand. Nothing to see here.
The rest of the news comes from the Minors, mainly AAA. The Bats have really had a lot of injuries this year, which is the last thing they needed considering that even at full strength the roster is...underwhelming. Pedro Villareal was put on the DL July 21 with a shoulder strain. We've seen how long shoulder injuries can end up sidelining pitchers, with Bray, Masset, and Tomko as recent/current examples. Bray was out two months, Masset four months so far, and Tomko nearly two months and counting. Speaking of Tomko, he could be close to a return since he is back with the Bats after rehabbing with the AZL Reds.
Kris Negron was lost for the season due to a torn ACL. This is the same injury Chris Valaika suffered last season. Dioner Navarro has been sidelined for 10 days with a strained hamstring, but he is also close to a return. I don't think the Reds would consider this roster move, but it would be interesting to have Navarro on the Reds bench, freeing Mesoraco or Hanigan to PH, which would undoubtedly improve the options for that role.
Willie Harris and Felix Perez were both sidelined with hamstring strains on July 4. Harris made his return July 13, Perez 4 days later, so the outfield at AAA is back at full strength now. Yeah, if we need outfield help or an upgrade, that's going to have to come via trade. Neftali Soto returned to action in Louisville after missing 18 days with back spasms. His walk rate is a career best, but everything else has been a big step back for the 1B prospect. Let's hope it is that initial adjustment period so many players have when reaching AAA.
Henry Rodriguez returned to action on July 4 from a broken thumb. He had been out for a month and change. He also was promoted to AAA, and I wonder if he will get a September callup. Junior Arias, SS at single-A Dayton, also returned form a hamstring strain on July 12. He spent the minimum 7 days on the DL. As always, the current state of injury affairs is a click away on the left sidebar.