The Reds announced Tuesday that first baseman Joey Votto is back from the 10-day injured list. To clear room for Votto, the Reds placed right-hander Michael Feliz on the 10-day IL (retroactive to Monday) with an elbow issue.
Cincinnati has gone more than a month without Votto, who hasn’t played since May 5 on account of a fractured left thumb. The 37-year-old, a six-time All-Star and former MVP, was off to a tough start before then with a career-low .226/.305/.425 line and five home runs in 118 trips to the plate. However, it wasn’t necessarily a hopeless start to the season for Votto, who dealt with some poor fortune that contributed to his mediocre line. For instance, Votto ranks well above average in several important Statcast categories – including expected weighted on-base average (his .377 xwOBA far outdoes his .319 real wOBA) – so his meager .250 batting average on balls in play seems likely to increase.
The Votto-less Reds have tread water since he went down, as they were one game under .500 then and that remains the case. The club is four games back in the competitive National League Central, which has three other contenders in the division-leading Brewers, the Cubs and the Cardinals.