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Joey Votto likely to return to Reds lineup on Wednesday

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Joey Votto hasn't played in a game since July 16. (Getty Images)

Joey Votto's back -- sort of.

The Reds first baseman was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, but he is not in the lineup for Tuesday night's game against Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies.

Reds manager Dusty Baker has repeatedly said it will be up to Votto when he feels comfortable enough to return. The team had originally planned on him returning to the lineup this past weekend in Houston, but Votto wanted to play more minor-league games. He played three games at Class A Dayton and two at Triple-A Louisville.

Baker told reporters on Tuesday that Votto would likely start on Wednesday afternoon against Philadelphia's Roy Halladay. Votto's hitting .316/.409/.579 with a home run in 22 career plate appearances against Halladay.

"The plan could change every day depending on how he feels and how his body feels. As of right now, he will probably start tomorrow," Baker told reporters (via MLB.com's Mark Sheldon). "Then we have to watch him if there's a long inning one way or the other, if he gets sore, if he makes a wrong move -- we're going to try to preserve him and work him back in there."

Votto told reporters that his surgically repaired knee is not 100 percent and probably won't be until the offseason.

"I'm talking about being able to play baseball, being able to put myself in uncomfortable positions, and I would like to think I would get through all the games and continue to recover as I play and move through September, and hopefully all the way to the end of October," Votto said (via Sheldon).

In his minor-league appearances, Votto recorded two hits in 11 at-bats. His lone hit at Triple-A was a home run.

Even if Votto wanted to play more rehab games, the only two Reds affiliates still playing aren't close to Cincinnati -- Class A Bakersfield of the California League and Billings of the Rookie Pioneer League.

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