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.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.