Reds: Joey Votto falls home run shy of cycle during rehab assignment

Joseph Daniel Votto is back, ladies and gentlemen. The six-time All-Star has been in Louisville for the past week, looking to regain his form after nearly a month-long stint on the injured list following a broken bone on his left hand. Joey Votto nearly hit for the cycle last night, and it looks as though the Cincinnati Reds first baseman will be back in the big leagues very soon.

Votto was hit on the hand by a pitch during the interleague series with the Chicago White Sox early last month. Votto left the game and was placed on the 10-day injured list, though it was expected the former MVP would miss upwards of a month.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto nearly hit for the cycle last night.

Joey Votto has been down on the farm since last week’s rainout in Louisville. Yesterday’s game against the St. Paul Saints marked the first time that Votto had played the field since his rehab assignment began. Votto had been the Bats’ designated hitter the past few games, but started Saturday’s game at first base.

Votto started things off in the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff triple. The last time Votto recorded a triple in the major leagues was in 2019. Only twice (2008 and 2013) in Votto’s career has the left-handed slugger logged more than two triples in a season.

Votto’s second at-bat saw the 37-year-old rip a double into center field during the second inning. Votto’s line drive single in the fourth inning helped give the Bats a 4-1 lead, as infielder Errol Robinson scored from third base. Votto had one more chance at the dish, but an eight-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning ended in a 6-3 putout.

It’s anyone’s guess when the 2010 Most Valuable Player will return to the Cincinnati Reds lineup, but one of David Bell’s concerns seemed to be alleviated last night after Joey Votto took to the field. I’d venture to guess that we’ll see Votto back in Cincinnati sometime this week.

Until then, Bats’ fans will be able to enjoy seeing the franchises’ most decorated alumni don a double-ear-flap batting helmet one more time. Louisville hosts St. Paul for the serie finale today at Slugger Field.