During his appearance on First Pitch with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden, Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty divulged something: Joey Votto may not be 100% for the remainder of the season.
Votto hit the disabled list on May 21, and at the time, there was speculation that Votto may have an issue with his reconstructed knee. During the 2012 season, Votto necessitated surgery to repair a torn meniscus. As it turns out, there was a quad strain.
Recall after Votto returned after his knee surgery in 2012 that he lacked power (.421 SLG) and didn’t appear to have the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field, a staple of Votto’s hitting approach. He did not record a home run upon his return, and he only drove in seven runs. Those same concerns will surely be present when he returns this year.
The subject of where Votto is placed within the Reds batting order was also discussed. Votto has batted 2nd, 3rd, and clean-up this season. He has been least successful hitting in his customary #3 spot.
Latos has at least one remaining rehab start which is tonight. The club will see where he stands and make a decision from there. There’s a chance Latos could make his 2014 debut this weekend.
Jocketty was quick to applaud manager Bryan Price for the move of Simon from the bullpen to the starting rotation. After Latos required minor surgery (knee) and Homer Bailey wasn’t ready for the start of the season (groin), the move has paid huge dividends.
The questions: What to do when Latos returns? Do you move Simon back to the bullpen? Do you remove Tony Cingrani, the team’s only lefty in the rotation, to the bullpen? Cingrani has struggled in 2014. The Reds brass has a tough decision or two to make.
On Stephenson, the only telling remark Jocketty made was that at some point this season, Stephenson could be moved to Triple-A Louisville.