Reds: Votto gets MRI on knee, but quad is issue

Joey Votto stayed behind in Cincinnati on Friday to get an MRI on his left knee. But it turned out to be a bum quad that's keeping him out of the lineup in the Reds' series opener against the Phillies.

It was confirmed early Friday that the star first baseman didn't make the trip to Philadelphia for his team's three-game series against the Phils so team doctors could look at his left knee.

The request for the procedure came after Votto's lackluster performance at the plate Thursday night in the back-end of the team's doubleheader against the Padres. 

Votto went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts during that game, adding to a May where he has hit just .209 and drove in only two RBIs in his last 16 games. He's hitting .257 with six homers and 12 RBIs overall.

However, the MRI results released Friday afternoon show the 30-year-old's problems digging in stemmed from a left distal quadriceps strain, according to the Reds. There's no structural damage to the knee.

“It means there’s a reason for the soreness and the fatigue in the leg,” Reds skipper Bryan Price described the injury to Reds.com writer Mark Sheldon.

But while the Reds may have dodged a bullet to Votto's knee, the team's best player could miss more than just the one game – and could even wind up on the disabled list.

“We’ll collect as an organization after the game today and try to define the best course of either rehab or the best decision for Joey and the club,” Price was quoted on Sheldon's blog.

The news about Votto is the latest derailment to the 2014 season for the Reds who've been plagued with inconsistency and injuries throughout the first two months of the campaign. They've already put 11 players on the DL.

In total, four of the eight starting positions players, two of five starting pitchers and the top three arms in the bullpen have all been plagued with injuries this season.

The Reds' lineup is currently without the services of outfielder Jay Bruce who is on the 15-day DL. Catcher Devin Mesoraco could return Friday from a strained left hamstring that has had him out since April 25.

If Votto is out of the lineup beyond Friday, the Reds would likely turn to longtime prospect Neftali Soto. The 25-year-old has been with the club all season but has only had 17 at-bats.

Management could also consider calling up lefty Donald Lutz who has been on a tear with the team's Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

As of Friday the Reds are 18-21 heading into a six-game road trip and trail the Brewers by seven games in the NL Central.

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