Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto against the Chicago White Sox at Glendale Ranch. Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE
It's been nearly two months since Joey Votto, the best hitter in the National League, last played for the Cincinnati Reds. Since then, he's been on the Disabled List while undergoing and recovering from two knee surgeries.
Somehow, the Reds have gone 32-16 in Votto's absence. Which is enough to suggest they haven't really missed him, but not enough to suggest they're not thrilled that Votto's coming off the D.L. and rejoining the club.
In Votto's absence, Todd Frazier shifted from third base to first base and hit like a champion (if not like a Votto). With Votto back in action, Frazier will presumably return to third, but that's a little tricky given the presence of veteran Scott Rolen, who got off to a terrible start this season, but has hit brilliantly -- better than Frazier, even -- since the All-Star break.
So while Goal No. 1 is getting Votto into a groove in time for October, Goal No. 2 is figuring out how to divvy up the playing time between two third basemen who deserve to play almost every day.