But for the next three to four weeks, the club will try to avoid a letdown after losing its All-Star first baseman to a knee injury.
Joey Votto will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. The club will announce a corresponding roster move Tuesday.
Making matters worse, the Reds lost to the D-backs Monday in the opener of a three-game series, using their bullpen to throw six innings of a 5-3 loss. Johnny Cueto will be hoping to put the Reds on a good foot Tuesday. The 26-year-old missed his last scheduled start due to a blister on his throwing hand but is expected to be fine.
"He's getting better every day and should be all right by tomorrow," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Monday.
On the season, Cueto is 10-5 with a 2.39 ERA and 91 strikeouts.
Taking the hill for the D-backs will be rookie pitcher Trevor Bauer. After allowing nine runs (eight earned) in his first two starts of his career, the 21-year-old bounced back July 8 against the Dodgers by tossing six scoreless frames and surrendering just two hits.
Even though he hasn't pitched in eight days, Bauer isn't concerned about the long layoff between starts.
"Ten days off, a month off -- whatever," Bauer said. "I still have the same routine. As long as I get on the mound and my mechanics are in sync, I don't see a problem."
D-backs: Club cautious with Kubel
The D-backs are continuing to monitor the progress of left fielder Jason Kubel after he left Friday's game against the Cubs with tightness in his hamstring. He was out of the lineup Saturday but came on to pinch-hit in the ninth, grounding into a game-ending double play.
While Kubel was left out of the lineup both Sunday and Monday, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said the club considered pinch-hitting Kubel again Sunday.
"He was somewhat stiff [Sunday] before the game, so we'll try to avoid going backwards with this," Gibson said. "As much as you want to do things, sometimes you just couldn't do it."
Gibson called the injury "a little concerning" but added that they don't plan on putting the 30-year-old on the disabled list.
"He doesn't want to [go on the DL], we know that," Gibson said. "We don't want to put him there, but time will tell. If he doesn't get well in the next couple days, then we'll probably be more inclined to consider that."
Kubel began the day batting .292 this season and led the team with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs.
"I'm feeling better," Kubel said. "Each day is better and I'm able to get looser easier."
Reds: Frazier gets crack at first base
With Votto out of the lineup for the next few weeks, Reds rookie Todd Frazier will likely see plenty of action at first base. That began Monday.
Frazier logged one game at first base last season but has primarily played third base this season when Scott Rolen was out with injuries. Like Votto, Frazier does provide plenty of power. In less than 200 at-bats, the 26-year-old boasts 10 homers.
"Just stepping into footsteps like Joey's, I'm going to try to do what he does and see what happens," Frazier said. "I'm ready. I've played there a lot. It comes natural to me."
The D-backs scored four runs in the first inning of Monday's series opener against the Reds, after the club tallied just three runs combined in its entire three-game series against the Cubs last weekend.
The Reds have 399 wins at Great American Ball Park.