Reds' Votto out with quad strain, Mesoraco activated
MAY 16, 2014 6:41p ET
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto's left knee isn't as bad as first feared but he did miss the first game against Philadelphia Friday night. But there was better news for the Reds as catcher Devin Mesoraco returned from the DL.
An MRI of Votto's left knee revealed that the 2010 NL MVP has a distal quadriceps strain, forcing him out of the lineup for the series opener at the Phillies.
Votto did not travel with the team Thursday and was examined in Cincinnati on Friday. The Reds have not announced anything regarding Votto's availability beyond Friday night.
Brayan Pena made his fifth career appearance and first career start at first base while Mesoraco returned to the lineup after being activated from the 15-day disabled list. Mesoraco completed a three-game rehab assignment on Thursday with Triple-A Louisville. Mesoraco suffered a hamstring strain on April 26 at Atlanta. He was eligible to come off the DL since last Sunday.
FOX Sports 1 Insider Ken Rosenthal first reported Votto staying in Cincinnati to be examined this morning. Rosenthal's initial report said Votto would likely go on the DL but no decision has been made on that front.
According to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, Reds management will meet after Friday night's game to discuss the situation.
"Yeah, it is a collective sigh of relief, for sure, that it's not anything serious," manager Bryan Price told MLB.com and other reporters Friday afternoon. "It looks like all the structural stuff in the knee is great and intact. That's the positive thing to this point."
Votto had two operations on the same left knee in 2012, causing him to miss 48 games. Votto has played in all 39 of the Reds' games so far this season but his offensive production has been well down from his career numbers.
His on-base percentage is .410 and he is slugging .449, but his batting average is just .257, including .209 in May. He has eight doubles, six home runs and just 12 RBI this season. He has driven in just three runs since April 18.
Votto went 1 for 6 with two walks in Thursday's doubleheader split with San Diego, including striking out his first three trips to the plate in a 6-1 loss in the nightcap.
The Reds have already used the DL 12 times this season for 11 different players. Mesoraco began the season on the DL with an oblique strain and missed the first six games of the season. Mesoraco's has played in 13 games and was hitting a blistering .468 when he went down with the hamstring strain. He has a .509 on-base percentage and .787 slugging percentage with six doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI.