Just days after getting each of Matt Davidson, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel back for varying suspicious reasons, the Cincinnati Reds appear to be down another key offensive player. On Sunday, we woke to the news that they’d placed 1B Joey Votto on the Injured List - not the 10-day Injured List due to an injury, the nebulous one specifically created due to the COVID-19 pandemic through which they’re trying to play.
The team announced the move on Twitter, noting that they’d activated pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, who will pitch today (if the rain permits).
Much like in the cases of Moustakas and Senzel, it appears this is a preemptive move, as Votto has not yet tested positive for the virus. The Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale relayed that Votto is ‘experiencing symptoms,’ however, and is therefore going to begin the process as if he’s got it already as a precautionary measure.
That process cost Moose and Senzel a trio of games, and it appeared as if that’s just about as quick as they can effectively determine if a player does not have the virus and can return, so that’s likely the most optimistic timeline for Votto at the moment. That said, if he does end up testing positive and is symptomatic, the range of timelines for his return becomes much larger, and all longer.
It’s a disappointing development from a pure baseball perspective, as Votto came out of the gate swinging a hot bat to start the season. From a simple humanitarian perspective, it’s just awful that another player seems about to have to slog through being sick with this awful virus, hopefully with no lingering side effects from it going forward.
In the meantime, the Reds are simply going to have to move on for now, as that’s seemingly the only M.O. that MLB has in place for these type of developments. While other clubs that have had multiple positive tests and scares have had their games postponed indefinitely - the Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies to be specific - the Reds, for whatever reason, are being asked to keep playing despite a fourth member of their team going through this process this week. Why that is the case, I’m not sure, but it sure isn’t helping them from a competitive standpoint, as they’re the one team who is trying to actually go through this shorthanded.