07/25/10 2:30 PM ET
Jocketty keeps ear to ground about trades
Anything can happen in final week before Trade Deadline
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Rolen expects to play in Milwaukee series
HOUSTON -- For the ninth-straight game on Sunday, the Reds were playing shorthanded with third baseman Scott Rolen out of the lineup with a sore right hamstring. That is nearly two-thirds of the way through a 15-day disabled list stint.But Rolen's extended absence could be ending soon. "The plan is to get back into the lineup in Milwaukee," Rolen said. "Does that mean [Monday]? I'm not making out the lineup. We'll just put 'in Milwaukee.'" Rolen ran the bases, took ground balls and batting practice on Saturday and felt fine on Sunday morning. The Reds didn't take BP on Sunday, and manager Dusty Baker wasn't ready to say whether Rolen would return Monday when the Reds open a series vs. the Brewers. "I learned in life over the years that if a guy tells me tomorrow, then I think the day after tomorrow," Baker said. "I don't want to force it. When I get him back, I want him back, and not in and out hopefully. You don't have any control over that, but hopefully."
Day of rest proves fruitful for Votto
HOUSTON -- Even if Reds first baseman Joey Votto always wants to be last in line to ask for a day off, he admits the one he received Thursday did him a lot of good."I feel like it did help," Votto said. In the two games vs. the Astros that followed the rest, Votto was 5-for-8 with two homers, three RBIs and four runs scored. In Saturday's 7-0 win, he tied his career high with his 25th homer of the season in the first inning. Unlike most of his teammates, Votto did not get much of a rest during the All-Star break, since he participated in the All-Star Game. That included flying out to the West Coast and back. "Overall, you're just tired in body and mind. I could have just used a break. I didn't feel like I had one during the All-Star break," said Votto, who entered Sunday batting .313 with 67 RBIs. "I felt like I couldn't do what I wanted with my swing."
Pinch-hitting isn't so hard for Heisey
HOUSTON -- In the ninth inning of the Reds' 7-0 win Saturday over the Astros, Chris Heisey slugged his Major League-leading fourth pinch-hit home run of the season. Heisey entered Sunday with six homers overall in 49 games while batting .297.Pinch-hitting is supposed to be hard, especially for a rookie, isn't it? "I had never done it, so there were no expectations," Heisey said Sunday morning. "First I had to just watch the other guys do it. You figure out when the situation is going to arise, when we're going to double switch. You look at the bullpen and see if somebody's warming up. If the pitcher's spot is coming up, you have a good idea we'll pinch-hit. I try to go back and get a little bit of a sweat going, get my legs loose and take a couple of swings in the cage generally. Then I go out and do my best." Heisey, who started Sunday in right field, came in batting .240 in the 14 games he started. As a pinch-hitter in 23 games, he's batting .412 (7-for-17) with a .522 on-base percentage. "[I told him] 'You should stay ready and pay attention in the game," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You should know what a guy is throwing. It's a hard job, but I try to match him up against certain kinds of guys, too. He's always ready. There are certain guys I try not to match him up against yet."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.