Joey Votto was donked on the thumb with a pitch in a game against the Chicago White Sox on May 5th, and the Cincinnati Reds placed him on the 10-day IL because of it on May 7th. Since that time, the collective that’s been filling in for him at 1B has hit a paltry .198/.317/.248 with 1 (one) homer and a 64 wRC+.
Safe to say, it’s going to be very nice to have Joey back in the lineup, and the Reds officially welcomed him back into the fold prior to the series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, swapping him on the roster with Michael Feliz (who heads to the IL with an elbow issue).
VOTTO BACK— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 8, 2021
The #Reds today reinstated from the 10-day injured list 1B Joey Votto (broken left thumb) and placed on the 10-day injured list, retro to yesterday, RHP Michael Feliz (right elbow). pic.twitter.com/wIlI642swF
Of course, it’s tough to truly fault the entirety of the team’s 1B work in Votto’s absence since the backup, the backup’s backup, and the backup’s backup’s backup all managed to get hurt while trying to fill that void, too. Mike Moustakas is out, as are Alex Blandino and Max Schrock, and that has largely forced Tyler Stephenson into covering Votto for the last few weeks.
(That’s also because Kyle Farmer, once the backup 1B, is now the everyday SS thanks to this entire infield mess over the last half-year.)
Anyway, with the thumb now good to go and a handful of appearances on rehab with AAA Louisville under his belt, Votto will return to the heart of the Reds lineup and hopefully provide some consistent backing for the star duo of Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos, a duo that has mostly carried the entire offense through this point of the season.