To make room for Votto on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned infielder Adam Rosales to Triple-A Louisville.
Votto had reached his allotment of seven bereavement days, requiring the Reds to place him on the roster. Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker had hoped to give Votto a couple days to get himself into a baseball mind-set.
"The rules say he has to be back on the roster," said Baker. "It's nice to have him back. He's my first baseman. I was hoping to give him a couple more days to work out."
Baker said Votto, who's batting .280 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs, might be available to pinch-hit this weekend.
Javier Valentin made his fifth straight start at first base on Saturday night.
Votto leads the club with 13 three-hit games. He's hit safely in nine of his past 11 starts. His 13 home runs hit as a first baseman are the most by a Reds rookie at that position since Ted Kluszewski hit 12 in 1948.
Votto respectfully declined to answer questions prior to Saturday's game.
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.