Looking to stay fresh, Votto gets day off

Looking to stay fresh, Votto gets day off

CINCINNATI -- First baseman Joey Votto was not in the lineup for the Reds' series finale against the Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

"For Joey, it's just a day off," manager Bryan Price said. "We're trying to be conscientious of the fact that he is playing at well below 100 percent right now and trying to keep him as healthy as we can under the circumstances, which is challenging. He's got some challenges, physically. I just thought it was a good idea to give him a day off today."

Sunday marked the third time Votto was not in the starting lineup since returning from a left quad strain on June 10. Entering Sunday, he's batting .255 with 16 doubles, six home runs and 23 RBIs. Since returning from the injury, he's batting .250 (21-for-84) with eight doubles, no homers and 11 RBIs. He hasn't had a multi-hit game since going 2-for-4 with a double against the Blue Jays on June 21.

"We knew the process when we initially put Joey on the disabled list that when we got him back, we weren't going to be able to get him to 100 percent over the course of the regular season," Price said. "We decided to do some strengthening exercises and really work on getting the inflammation and a lot of the soreness out of there. We accomplished that to a certain degree.

"Some days are better than others. This was my decision today not to play, though I stay in contact with Joey on how he's feeling. He didn't ask to come out. I just thought it was a good day to give him a breather and reassess and get ready for tomorrow."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.