Seems like the game is a mere afterthought, doesn’t it?
Before the game even began tonight, word started flowing through the Twitterverse that Reds first baseman Joey Votto would require surgery on his injured knee. A torn meniscus would mean the Reds would be without the services of the 2010 NL MVP for a period of 3 to 4 weeks. Prior to the game’s start, no word had been officially announced by the team…except for a tweet here and there from sources that are not connected with the team.
Not long after the game had started, word came from Thom Brennaman that Votto was, indeed, lost for about a month.
Bronson Arroyo struggled and surrendered four runs in the first inning alone. He would also allow a run in the 3rd on a Miguel Montero home run. The Reds would claw their way back into the game, but Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley would settle down after he permitted the Reds to score a run in the first and a pair of runs in the second.
The bullpens would decide the game and both would not allow much offense. In fact, neither would see an opponent score as the Reds would see their six game winning streak halted with a 5-3 loss.
But the news of the Votto injury created the day’s biggest rumbling. You could even call it something greater. It also provided the biggest point of conjecture. Many questions were raised by Reds fans and beat writer John Fay. Fay asked if Votto if he had an MRI after he first injured the knee while he was sliding into third base in a game against the Giants. According to Fay’s tweet, Votto denied having one, and if he had, he wouldn’t tell anyone.
Another “question” posed was why did the Reds permit Votto to participate in the All-Star Game knowing there was an issue with the bulky knee. Even more. Why wasn’t this issue caught by the Reds medical staff before now?
If you watched Reds Live after the game, you saw the interview with GM Walt Jocketty. The meeting to make the determination of the injury and the surgery was not made until 7 PM. Votto had an MRI today and no previous MRI was done because Votto was not having an issue until the past couple of days.
Now we know.
Now the Reds are in an even more precarious position than they were. Jocketty was possibly looking to find a lead-off bat, power bat or lefty bench bat. At least. Now, he might be forced to look for an alternative to cover first base for at least a month, maybe even longer depending how Votto responds to the surgery. And rival GMs will know that to be the case. The Reds were already a little thin as far as bench depth was concerned. They’re thinner now. Jocketty is now in a precarious situation. Teams will know of the newly created desperation on top of the needs the Reds currently have.
But what do the Reds have to deal? The depth of the farm system is mostly at Double-A and lower due to the off-season trades. Don’t be surprised to see a major league player be involved in a trade if a quality player comes to the Good Guys. I can’t see any moves involving any pitchers from the Reds 25-man roster unless Jocketty has no other recourse. No sense in disrupting a great bullpen and a solid starting rotation.
And with Votto hitting the disabled list, what will the corresponding move be? A name bantered about is Henry Rodriguez. He was recently moved up to Louisville and had a good spring. He’s also on the 40-man so no other move need be made. What makes Rodriguez appealing is that he’s a switch-hitter and he can be worked into the third base situation with Todd Frazier looking to be receiving most of the time at first base. And Rodriguez is just a hitter. The only season where Rodriguez has not hit .300 or higher was 2007, his first in organized baseball. His lowest since is .305 for the 2010 season.
The other lefty bats on the 40-man don’t seem to be as logical as Rodriguez. Mike Costanzo was up earlier in the season, but he struggled beyond belief. Donald Lutz just came back from injury and is in Pensacola. Didi Gregorius was also just promoted to Louisville, but he’s a shortstop. Don’t see a position switch either.
There are options. Depends which direction the Reds pursue. If you’re looking to recoup the games lost for Frazier moving to first, it’s Rodriguez. Guy just hits.
Mark Kotsay is looking a little better now, isn’t he?