MILWAUKEE -- As his stint on the 10-day disabled list passed the halfway point on Tuesday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto spent part of the afternoon in left field at Miller Park performing running and high-leg drills. It was a chance to test if he's had improvement from the lower
MILWAUKEE -- As his stint on the 10-day disabled list passed the halfway point on Tuesday, Reds first baseman Joey Votto spent part of the afternoon in left field at Miller Park performing running and high-leg drills. It was a chance to test if he's had improvement from the lower right leg contusion.
Before going on the field, Votto felt the rest over not playing a game since Wednesday had already benefited him.
"I feel better, for sure," Votto said. "If you ask any player in the middle of the season, rest certainly can be really helpful -- both mentally and physically. I had a DL-worthy sort of thing, so some time off and just rehabbing and spending time building momentum toward playing full-time, hopefully I will be able to take off whenever I get back."
Before being placed on the DL, Votto was considerably hampered by discomfort near his right knee after being hit on the leg by Nationals reliever Ryan Madson's 96-mph fastball on Aug. 4. He often limped while running the bases and was limited on defense.
That felt weirder to Votto than being on the DL for the first time since 2014.
"I did the best I could to play. That was a strange feeling," Votto said. "If you ask any guy, you want to be on the field being able to play at their very best. I felt like I was in the way at times. I never want to feel that way."
Votto is eligible to be activated from the DL on Sunday, when the Reds are scheduled to close a four-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He remained cautiously optimistic he would be ready to play.
"I can't say for sure yet, but I'm hoping yes," Votto said.
Rare start at short for Suarez
When interim manager Jim Riggleman gave shortstop Jose Peraza his first break from the starting the lineup since July 10 on Tuesday, he tapped a former shortstop to take his place. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez made his first start at shortstop since April 14, 2016, at Chicago.
Suarez was originally a shortstop at the start of his career until switching full-time to third base in 2016.
"He's got shortstop skills. [Alex Blandino] is not here. That's the guy who would give Peraza a day off now and then," Riggleman said.
Blandino went on the DL on July 21 to have season-ending right knee surgery. Suarez has since been taking grounders at shortstop and played there late in games twice this season.
"The last homestand, I told him and Peraza that on this road trip, Peraza would get a day off," Riggleman said. "He took a few [ground balls] at home, he took a bunch there yesterday. With all the shifts now, he's in that position fairly often anyway. It's not a huge change."
In the first game of his injury rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola on Monday, Reds right fielder Scott Schebler went 1-for-4. Schebler, who has been out since spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder on July 14, played left field against Biloxi.
That didn't mean a position change was coming for Schebler when he is activated, which is expected to happen on Thursday when the Reds open their series at Wrigley Field.
"He's going to play right field tonight. He was going to get one game in left at least and a couple in right," Riggleman said. "When he comes back here, he'll be in right."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.