Dusty Baker on if Joey Votto will return from knee surgery this weekend: “Oh, hell no”

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Joey Votto was on the field taking some ground balls at first base this morning, but afterward manager Dusty Baker made it very clear that the former MVP won’t be coming off the disabled list this weekend:

Oh, hell no. What weekend? You’ve still got to run. He just started playing a little first base.

Votto was given a three-week recovery timetable after undergoing knee surgery on July 17 and Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that he “was not wearing a knee brace and looked to be moving around pretty well.”

Votto was having another MVP-caliber season before the surgery and the Reds have played amazingly well in his absence, going 13-3 while using Todd Frazier as the primary first baseman.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.