6/5/2014 12:04 P.M. ET
Consistent Frazier excelling at plate for Reds
By Manny Randhawa / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Third baseman Todd Frazier has been the Reds' most prolific hitter so far this season, leading the club in home runs (11) and RBIs (30) while posting the highest OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage, .840), slugging percentage (.498) and number of extra-base hits (24) among National League third basemen going into Thursday.
At .271, his batting average is 18 points higher than it was through the same number of games played (56) last season. He had also hit five more homers than he had at this point in 2013, then added his 12th of the season in the first inning Thursday.
"I always feel good when he's at the plate because you know that he's going to compete," manager Bryan Price said Thursday. "His power, and he's leading us in RBIs, I think he's leading us in almost every offensive category. He's doing a lot of good things for us."
Frazier has been performing particularly well at the plate over his past 12 games, hitting .283 (13-for-46) with three doubles, three homers and six RBIs. But Price said that no matter how he's doing in any given game, Frazier always takes the same mindset into the batter's box.
"It doesn't matter what type of game he's having, he's going to give you a great effort, a great approach every time he goes out there," Price said. "He just loves to compete and he's been giving us some good quality throughout the year."
Votto working on building up knee strength
CINCINNATI -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who's been on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps, took batting practice, fielded ground balls and ran the bases before Wednesday's game against the Giants. Manager Bryan Price said the focus is on ensuring the strength of Votto's knee continues to build to the point where he can return.
"He'll do more today, take more ground balls," Price said before Thursday's series finale. "He's been doing everything he can to get ready, but again, it will all come down to strength, more than anything. I think the soreness, I won't say it's a non-issue, but it's not as prevalent as it once was. And now it's just a matter of the strength and getting out there and playing a little bit and making sure everything's where we need it to be to activate him."
Reds to reassess Latos after cramp shortens rehab
CINCINNATI -- Right-hander Mat Latos headed to Great American Ball Park to be with the Reds on Thursday after making his third rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday night.
Latos has been on the disabled list all season following right elbow and left knee surgeries and pitched five innings for the Bats against Lehigh Valley, allowing two earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three before leaving the game with a calf cramp.
"He may have wanted to stay in, but it was apparent that it was something he shouldn't be pitching with as we get closer and closer to him joining the club," manager Bryan Price said Thursday.
"It was disappointing he wasn't able to get up to the innings and pitch limit that we had set [six innings, 90-100 pitches]. So he'll be in later on today and we'll kind of reassess the severity of it. It doesn't sound like it's really an issue; it's more of a cramp than anything else. That being said, we still have to take a look at him and make a decision on what the next step is."
The Reds are still considering both the option of activating Latos without another rehab start, as well as giving him another outing with Louisville.
"We'll just kind of make an organizational decision, but a decision hasn't been made yet," Price said. "We still want to see how he bounces back from yesterday's start."
• Entering Thursday, Devin Mesoraco ranked second among NL catchers in home runs (a career-high-tying nine) and RBIs (27). He was tied for second in extra-base hits (17), and if he had enough plate appearances (he had two stints on the disabled list earlier in the season), he would have been leading Major League catchers in batting average (.340) and slugging percentage (.680).
• Over the past two seasons, Frazier has hit safely in all nine games the Reds have played against the Giants. Over that span, he is hitting .412 (14-for-34) with five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs against San Francisco.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.