After having his return from knee surgery pushed back by one day Joey Votto has been activated from the disabled list, but he’s not in the Reds’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Normally teams wouldn’t activate a player and then not play him because it would require sending someone else to the minors, but with rosters expanding on September 1 the Reds have more than 25 guys to use anyway.
Votto was having an MVP-caliber season before the injury, hitting .342 with 14 homers, 36 doubles, and a 1.069 OPS in 86 games. In his absence Todd Frazier has had a huge impact as the Reds’ primary first baseman, batting .292 with 18 homers and an .887 OPS in 109 games, which means manager Dusty Baker will have some tough lineup decisions on his hands assuming Votto is ready to go tomorrow.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.