Joey Votto is at least one week away from returning

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto ran sprints and performed agility drills on Tuesday afternoon at Milwaukee’s Miller Park, then told reporters after the workout that he was moving at “100 percent” and felt no discomfort in his surgically-repaired left knee.

But his return to the active roster is not imminent.

According to beat writer John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager Dusty Baker has ruled out activating Votto during the team’s current road trip, which technically won’t conclude until next Tuesday night.

“I’m still thinking the same,” Baker said of Votto’s timetable. “He’s training hard. He’s not too far. I’m just not thinking on this road trip. If you’ve had a knee injury the one key obstacle you have to overcome is sliding.”

Votto, 28, was batting .342/.465/.604 with 14 home runs in 86 games before going under the knife.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.