6/22/2014 5:45 P.M. ET
Hamilton gets off-day vs. knuckleballer Dickey
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Giving him rest wasn't the primary factor for Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton sitting vs. the Blue Jays in Sunday's series finale. Toronto starting knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was. Skip Schumaker led off and played center field in Hamilton's place.
"It's not so much [a day off], moreso the fact that I think [Ryan] Ludwick has at-bats against Dickey and he's [3-for-11]. And Schu is 3-for-8, and having some experience with a knuckleballer, I think there's an advantage to that." Price said. "And a day off for Billy isn't the worst thing. My concern isn't that he can't do it, it's just that we knew that when we went into the season there's going to be a lot of wear and tear.
"A young center fielder who plays with that type of energy, who steals bases, who covers a lot of ground in center field, who's 160 pounds, and he's going to be ... playing into September and maybe into October, so it just makes sense."
Votto starts 12th straight since return
CINCINNATI -- Sunday's series finale vs. the Blue Jays was the 12th straight game that Reds first baseman Joey Votto has started since returning from the disabled list from a quadriceps strain above his left knee.
Manager Bryan Price had envisioned periodic rest for Votto, who has shown no signs he's needed it with solid production at the plate and quality defense in the field.
"It's doing well enough. We haven't really had a big regression," Price said. "It certainly points that over this 16-game stretch without a day off that Joey will get a break. He's playing very well. You see the way he runs the bases and defensively how he breaks to the ball and gets out of the batter's box.
"[But] I know he's not 100 percent. There's still some fatigue and tenderness in his knee, but it's been something he's been able to manage up to this point."
Reds will continue to mix and match in left field
CINCINNATI -- Ryan Ludwick lost his status as the regular Reds left fielder on June 1 when both he and the team were slumping offensively. That's when manager Bryan Price started mixing and matching Ludwick with Skip Schumaker and Chris Heisey.
Ludwick, in particular, has thrived at the plate under the arrangement. Including his two hits in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Blue Jays, he is batting .410 (16-for-39) over his last 13 games.
Price has no immediate plans, however, to go back to having a regular left fielder again.
"I'm just going to let it continue to play out," Price said. "I think the team is playing well now and we're getting the most out of Luddy and Schu. Heisey hasn't been playing as much obviously. He'll run into some really good matchups and get some starts along the way. Right now, seems to be working well with the club. I think there's something good about getting guys in there into the mix. This is one of the ways of doing that."
Despite upcoming surgery, Marshall shows humor
CINCINNATI -- Reds left-handed reliever Sean Marshall hasn't let his long battle with shoulder injuries wreck his sense of humor. On Sunday morning, Marshall strolled into the clubhouse with a large construction sign and hung it over his locker.
The bright orange sign read, "SHOULDER WORK AHEAD."
Marshall is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday to clean out his left shoulder.
"What do you think? I think Pricey [manager Bryan Price] might have fun with that one," Marshall said.
Several players took notice of the sign and laughed along with Marshall.
• The Reds formally announced the signing of the 29th overall Draft pick, infielder Alex Blandino -- their second pick of the first round. MLB.com reported on Thursday that Blandino signed for a $1.788 million bonus.
• Price celebrated his 52nd birthday on Sunday.