Votto back from DL among Reds moves

Stephenson placed on DL; Tucker optioned to Triple-A, Brice recalled

August 30th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- The Reds made a series of roster moves on Thursday, with the key one being the activation of first baseman Joey Votto from the 10-day disabled list.

Votto had been on the DL since Aug. 17 with a lower right leg contusion, stemming from his being hit near the knee Aug. 4 vs. the Nationals by a fastball. He was in Thursday's starting lineup vs. Milwaukee.

In the other moves, pitcher was placed on the 10-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis. Left fielder was optioned to Triple-A Louisville and reliever was recalled from Louisville.

Stephenson was recalled Aug. 8 after a mostly solid season with Louisville only to produce poor results for Cincinnati in his latest chance to impress. In four games, including three starts, he was 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA, 17 hits, 12 walks and 11 strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings. Stephenson last pitched in relief on Sunday vs. the Cubs and gave up three earned runs and three hits -- including a home run -- over one inning.

"His shoulder is tender. It's kind of precautionary," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "We'll see how he responds to that. Hopefully it's 10 days. We'll see."

Tucker, who was one of three players acquired from the Braves in the July 30 trade for , batted .189 with two homers in 17 games for the Reds. Overall, he is batting .240/.302/.429 with six homers and 27 RBIs over 79 big league games this season.

Roster flexibility was a motivating factor in sending down Tucker. While he plays just one position, others on the bench like , and even backup catcher Curt Casali can be used at multiple positions.

"Preston is pretty much a left fielder/slugger," Riggleman said. "In today's world, it's hard to carry that. When you're carrying six extra men, one of them can be a threat off the bench and hit one out of the park. We just don't have that luxury right now."

This is Brice's fourth big league callup this season. He is 2-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 32 games this season.

Nice work by Romano

A combined 25 runs and 36 hits were allowed by Reds and Brewers pitching during Wednesday's wild 13-12 Cincinnati loss in 10 innings. But Reds pitcher delivered a clean inning when he was summoned to clean up Matt Harvey's jam in the fifth.

Harvey gave up five straight hits and three runs without recording an out, and he left trailing, 5-3. Romano, who was taken out of the rotation earlier this week and moved to the bullpen for the rest of 2018, got two fielder's-choice plays and a strikeout.

"He comes in with a man on first and third and gets a ground ball to third. It's what we hope he is -- a ground-ball pitcher," Riggleman said. "Quite often he shows that. That's what he got for us there. He really did a nice job. He could be really valuable to us if he can do that out of the bullpen."

Worth noting

was scratched from Thursday's lineup with mid-back spasms. moved to second base while  played third.