We learned last Friday that Joey Votto was dealing with a distal quadriceps strain in his left knee. Four days later, the Reds have yet to make a decision regarding a possible stint on the disabled list.
Reds manager Bryan Price told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer this afternoon that the team is content with playing short-handed for now:
“We haven’t made a decision. We’ve still got some really good, positive stuff coming out from his rehab and he’s gotten a lot of the soreness out of his knee,” Reds manager Bryan Price said before Monday’s game. “He’s working diligently on his strengthening. We’re not yet ready, or do we feel it necessary to make a decision right now. It’s really a day-to-day, pending situation.”
If Votto is placed on the disabled list, he would not be eligible to return until May 31. With Votto and Jay Bruce both sidelined, the Reds are going with the red-hot Devin Mesoraco as their cleanup hitter.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.