|Votto's progress still slow. (Getty Images)|
After a second injury to his knee required another minor surgery last Thursday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto remains sidelined. And he'll stay there until he's 100 percent.
“I'm not going to come back until I can do everything as a ballplayer,” he said (cincinnati.com). “I'm not comfortable coming back and not being able to play defense or break up a double play. I'm responsible for myself once I step on the field. If I can't take a guy out and it costs us a run, that's something I'd have a hard time looking at teammates in the eyes. I'm accountable for myself as a player. When I come back, I will be.”
Votto originally injured himself sliding back before the All-Star break. He was practicing sliding last week when he again injured his knee. He won't attempt a slide again until he's fully healed, and there's no date he or the Reds have in mind for a return. So the best way to put this is that Votto is out indefinitely.
The three-time All-Star and 2010 NL MVP was on his way to another possible MVP season when the knee injury derailed him. He's hitting .342/.465/.604 with 14 homers, 49 RBI, 52 runs and 36 doubles in 86 games.
Votto hasn't played since July 15, and the Reds caught fire without him. They are 19-8 since then and have a five-game lead in the NL Central entering Tuesday night. Ryan Ludwick, Brandon Phillips, Drew Stubbs and Todd Frazier in particular have picked up the offensive slack in Votto's stead.