08/29/12 11:45 PM ET
Votto remains on track for return over weekend
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Votto, who played five innings and went 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout in Tuesday's rehab game with Class A Dayton, reported no issues.
"He did fine. I talked to him this morning," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Wednesday. "He said he felt pretty good, a little sore. He'll play today and he'll see how he feels after today, tonight. We'll determine when he'll be ready to go."
In his second game on Wednesday, Votto had three plate appearances over five innings. He was for 1-for-2 with a first-inning single up the middle and a third-inning walk.
Jocketty felt optimistic that Votto could be activated Saturday when rosters expand for September callups.
Votto has been out of the Reds' lineup since July 16 because of torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. He required two arthroscopic surgeries to repair the injury.
Speedy prospect Hamilton unlikely to be called up
PHOENIX -- When September callups are summoned to the Reds in the coming days, there's a good chance that top prospect Billy Hamilton will not be among them. Hamilton, currently at Double-A Pensacola, has a record 154 steals in the Minors this season.
"We haven't made a final determination," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Wednesday. "I'm going to go watch him this weekend, but probably not."
There was consideration to bring Hamilton up to be a pinch-runner extraordinaire to help the team. But it would have required adding him to the 40-man roster and thus starting his arbitration clock. He likely wouldn't be ready to hit or play the field.
"That's part of it," Jocketty said. "He's going to go to instructional league and the fall league. He needs a little break. There are a lot of variables involved."
Asked whether Hamilton could be playing somewhere other than shortstop after the season, Jocketty replied, "possibly."
The Reds are going to reveal their September callups on Friday. Major League teams are allowed to expand their rosters beginning on Saturday.
"We're bringing up a handful of guys," Jocketty said.
Some of the callups will arrive on Saturday. Devin Mesoraco, who was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 23, will be come back up Sunday when he's first eligible. A few more guys will come up Tuesday after Louisville's season ends.
Rolen emerges victorious from marathon at-bat
PHOENIX -- Reds third baseman Scott Rolen wasn't about to give in during the second inning on Tuesday night.
Rolen dug in for a 15-pitch plate appearance vs. D-backs starter Wade Miley -- including 10 fouls with two strikes -- before drawing a walk. Miley gave up three runs in his 33-pitch second inning of an eventual 5-2 Reds win.
"Whatever happens, great at-bat," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said he told Rolen during the duel.
"I wasn't changing my approach," Rolen said. "I was staying pretty stubborn because I was in the at-bat. I felt like if I could battle through, that approach would get the ball into play, instead of making an adjustment to change the at-bat. Then you end up getting beat with a ball. I just stayed where I was. I felt like I was on his changeup and fastball."
The plate appearance lasted for about six minutes, as Rolen fouled off one changeup after another. Finally Miley missed with a slider for ball four.
"I threw him in, out, up, down, and he just nicking it," Miley said. "I couldn't throw a good changeup. I was leaving it up a little bit and he was fouling it off. I tried to go slider, hooked it a little bit. It was a great at-bat."
Baker not concerned with outside perceptions
PHOENIX -- The top two hitters in the Reds' lineup -- Zack Cozart and Drew Stubbs -- have been in extended slumps lately. Cozart took a 0-for-18 skid into Wednesday while Stubbs was 1-for-22 entering the finale with the D-backs. The duo went a combined 0-for-10 in Tuesday's 5-2 win.
"That was yesterday. Today it could be them," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "As long as it's somebody."
Aware that his daily lineups are a source of criticism, Baker doesn't care.
"Everybody is looking for the perfect team, the perfect lineup. There aren't any," Baker said. "Even the mighty Yankees aren't perfect. We have a better record than they do. The Yankees, the Dodgers and some of these teams -- their payrolls are twice as much as ours -- trying to get perfect and it's still not perfect.
"The name of the game is 'Win.' You're always going to try to find something you're not doing. It depends on how your outlook in life is. Are you a half-empty or half-full person? I find that most people are half-empty people. I don't deal with them. I don't listen to them."
The Reds announced that their Sept. 22 game vs. the Dodgers has had its game time changed from 7:10 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. ET to accommodate a FOX national broadcast.
Shortstops Hamilton and Didi Gregorius, outfielder Donald Lutz and pitchers Drew Hayes and Curtis Partch are the prospects the Reds will be sending to the Arizona Fall League after the season. Rosters were announced on Wednesday.