It’s been just under four weeks since the Cincinnati Reds placed Joey Votto on the 10-day IL with a busted thumb, the result of their stalwart 1B having been hit by a pitch. At the time, the club was an even 15-15 on the season, and Votto’s own early season frustrations had finally begun to subside - he had posted a .920 OPS over the 20 G prior to his injury.
Other injuries to key Reds followed Votto’s thumb issue, unfortunately, and the Reds have slumped to four games under .500 and into 4th place in the NL Central. This afternoon, though, we learned that Votto is inching closer to a return, with a rehab trip to AAA Louisville on the immediate horizon.
The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans had the news:
Joey Votto is headed to Louisville on a rehab assignment. Max Schrock is headed to the 10-day IL (calf) and LHP Cionel Pérez is recalled.— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) June 1, 2021
Ideally, that means Joey’s no more than a handful of days from a return to the active roster, something that’ll give the Reds a much-needed boost in terms of flexibility at the worst, as catcher Tyler Stephenson has been primarily filling in for Votto there of late.
Of course, the other half of that news is that Max Schrock is unfortunately headed for the IL himself, just a day removed from the best game of his professional career. It’s a muscle injury in his leg that’s shut him down, one that’s unfortunately similar to the one that slowed him in spring training this year, too. Hopefully he’s back to full health soon and can return, as his infield versatility (and that pop from yesterday) makes him a decent bench option for this club right now.
Cionel Perez, meanwhile, hopefully found the strike zone while driving in circles on I-71 the last two days.