Joey Votto expected to come off the disabled list Monday

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There had been some speculation that Joey Votto would rejoin the Reds when rosters expand Saturday, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer now says he expects the former MVP to come off the disabled list Monday instead.

That’s when the Reds return home to begin a three-game series against the Phillies and would give Votto a little extra time to make sure his surgically repaired knee feels good while rehabbing in the minors.

There’s no real reason for the Reds to rush Votto, even a little bit, because they have baseball’s best record at 80-52, lead the NL Central by 8.5 games, and have played extremely well without him in the lineup.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.