5 difficult roster decisions the Reds front office must make before the end of June

Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall
Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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4. Reds activate Joey Votto from the IL and option Will Benson to Triple-A.

Joey Votto began another rehab assignment late last week. That means the former NL MVP has 20 days o get back into game shape before the Cincinnati Reds activate the 39-year-old from the 60-day IL.

Votto has been sidelined since last August due to shoulder and biceps surgery. The six-time All-Star tried to come back this spring, which we all know now was a mistake. But after his inability to get things right during his first rehab assignment, Votto returned to Cincinnati and joined Triple-A Louisville about a week ago.

Votto has seen time at DH and first base, and Reds fans should expect to see more of the same when the veteran returns to the Cincinnati lineup. Where Votto fits in the batting order will be an interesting item to keep an eye on, but a good bet is No. 6 or No. 7. That felt really weird to type.

Unfortunately, Votto's activation from the injured list will likely cost Will Benson his spot on the Cincinnati Reds active roster. Benson, like Votto, swings the bat left-handed, and while the outfielder has made strides during this second time up in the bigs, he'll likely head back to Louisville once No. 19 in back in the clubhouse.

The Reds wouldn't designate Benson for assignment, but with Votto back to the roster, Cincinnati would be required to create an opening on the 40-man roster. Cincinnati could easily DFA a struggling reliever like Joel Kuhnel or Alan Busenitz in order to clear a spot.