If you’re tuning in to watch the Cincinnati Reds play baseball tonight, you’re going to see something familiar: the old man in the C.
The Reds officially activated 1B Joey Votto from the 10-day IL today, hopefully because the lower back issue that plagued Mister Votto earlier in the month has finally subsided. The Reds themselves announced the move on Twitter.
Obviously, it’s nice to see Votto back with the Reds, especially since he’d sported a rather solid .278/.359/.444 line in the 44 games prior to being shelved with his back injury.
On the other hand, the optioning of Jose Peraza to AAA Louisville comes as a slight surprise, albeit one that shouldn’t be, really, if you base it purely on production alone. After his semi-breakout 2018 campaign, Peraza has once again slumped in 2019, with the addition of Freddy Galvis and the excellent play of Josh VanMeter pushing him further and further down the pecking order. His .630 OPS and 61 OPS+ simply haven’t been good enough for him to see regular at-bats, and that will be what he’ll be getting back in AAA on the regular for the near future.
A few caveats apply there, of course. For one, rosters expand at the start of September, so odds are we’ll see Peraza back when the minimum 10 days post roster move have passed. On a more important note, though, is that since Peraza hadn’t spent a single day in the minors this year, optioning him at this juncture could burn his final option, meaning he won’t enter the 2020 season with one remaining if he stays down for more than 20 days. Considering he’s already earning in excess of $2 million this year in his first trip through the arbitration process, that’ll make how the Reds handle tendering him a contract for 2020 a bit more interesting to follow, though odds are he’ll be back after just 10 days to ensure that won’t happen.
For now, though, it’s just damn good to see Joey Votto back.