Reds legend Joey Votto will be eligible to return from the injured list on Sunday, but it appears that the plate discipline devotee will need at least a few more days before resuming his role as the elder statesman on the Cincy lineup card. “He’s making a lot of progress,” manager David Bell told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Still no date. I know he’s eligible tomorrow. That won’t happen. Maybe not too far behind.”
Votto did some on-field work in rehab for his lower back injury on Friday. Cincinnati has around a 1% chance of reaching the playoffs this year on the strength of a 60-67 record entering Saturday, so Votto’s return will likely be mostly about gaining a little feel-good momentum entering 2020–a year in which the Reds expect to compete, as evidenced by their deadline acquisition of ace Trevor Bauer.
More jottings from around the National League this weekend…
- For Padres fans suffering through their 13th-consecutive season without a playoff appearance, there has been no greater “what if” story in recent years than the continued tease offered by outfielder Franchy Cordero. Long noted for his prodigious raw power and tantalizing athletic gifts, Cordero’s path toward center field playing time has been submarined by repeated injury–an unfortunate circumstance given the recent-year struggles of center fielders Wil Myers and Manuel Margot. Now, as noted in a tweet from MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, Cordero is back on the rehab trail. While it was a wonky elbow that sidelined Cordero for most of 2018 and the beginning of this year, it was a hurt quad that has delayed his rehab for the last two months. Saturday marked Cordero’s first game in the resumption of his rehabilitative assignment, as the outfielder appeared at DH in the Arizona League. Manager Andy Green, however, has apparently learned to be cautiously optimistic in regard to Franchy’s injuries–with the key word being “cautiously”. “He’s on the path toward returning,” Green said. “It’s not a short path, though.”
- Mark Zuckerman of MASN provides partial updates on Nationals arms Roenis Elias and Sean Doolittle, saying that Elias is “heading in the right direction” and that Doolittle should be ready for activation when his IL stint is up on August 28th (Twitter link). Does it even bear repeating that the Nats are in need of as much pitching help as they can get? Elias, for his part, appeared in just one D.C. game before being felled by injury. Between Seattle and Washington this year, the veteran has a 3.59 ERA through 47.2 relief innings, although his 4.68 xFIP indicates that he should be due for some bad luck regression if he does indeed make it back soon. Doolittle, for his part, has been the subject of a great deal of armchair psychology in recent weeks, as a rough stretch of play (10 earned runs in his last 5 appearances) culminated in his placement on the 10-day injured list with a knee injury. Nats relievers have amassed a 6.00 ERA on the year.