Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds - Game Five

Reds place Joey Votto on the disabled list, activate Jay Bruce

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Cincinnati got relatively good news on Joey Votto’s injury, which turned out to be a quadriceps strain rather than the feared significant knee problem, but the former MVP is still headed for the disabled list.

And in a corresponding move the Reds activated outfielder Jay Bruce from the disabled list after he missed the past two weeks with a partially torn meniscus in his left knee.

Three different players have started at first base in the five games Votto has missed so far, but Triple-A call-up Neftali Soto seems likely to get most of the action there.

Votto was off to a decent start before the injury, posting his usual .400-plus on-base percentage despite a .257 batting average thanks to a league-high 33 walks. However, his overall .859 OPS is 100 points below his career norm.

Bruce will resume starting every day in right field and will try to turn things around after hitting just .216 with three homers and a .715 OPS through 30 games.

Estrada in Game 3, Dickey in Game 4 for Blue Jays

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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It’s already been established that the Blue Jays would throw deadline acquisition David Price in Game 1 of their ALDS matchup against the Rangers and fast-rising right-hander Marcus Stroman in Game 2.

Now we know how they’ll fill out the rest of their rotation for the best-of-five round …

John Lott of the National Post notes that R.A. Dickey threw a simulated game on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre, which lines him up for a potential ALDS Game 4 next Monday in Texas. Marco Estrada will take Game 3 on Sunday night in Arlington.

Mark Buehrle retired after his final regular-season start, so he’s obviously out of the mix.

Toronto is the World Series favorite to many as the postseason gets underway.

Yasiel Puig might be more of a bench guy in the NLDS

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Yasiel Puig appeared in just 79 games during the regular season and missed all of September with a right hamstring strain. He returned on October 3 and appeared in the Dodgers’ final two regular-season games, but that doesn’t mean he is anywhere close to 100 percent heading into the NLDS.

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles says the Dodgers are unlikely to start Puig over Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford against right-handers in the best-of-five Division Series. And the Mets are scheduled to throw three righties in the first three games: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey. The only left-hander in the Mets’ postseason rotation is Steven Matz, and he is somewhat questionable with a back injury.

Would it make sense to leave Puig off the NLDS roster entirely? If he does aggravate the hamstring injury, which seems possible even in a limited role, that would put him out of the mix for the NLCS.

They could send Puig to Arizona and have him face live pitching for the next 8-10 days.

But that’s just a suggestion. It doesn’t sound like it’s actually a consideration.