CINCINNATI -- The Reds' biggest bats are coming and going between the dugout and the disabled list.
Optimism gave way to reality for Joey Votto on Wednesday when the Reds placed the first baseman on the 15-day DL with a left leg injury.
Meanwhile, the Reds reinstated outfielder Jay Bruce from the 15-day DL. He had arthroscopic surgery May 5 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He did not play in Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals.
The Reds had been hoping Votto could recover with rest, but they finally shut him down after he missed five games with a quadriceps strain.
Manager Bryan Price said Tuesday he was optimistic Votto would be back for a homestand with the Cardinals that starts Friday.
That won't be the case.
"We don't want to give Joey a week off and then have Joey slightly improved from when we left him," Price said Wednesday. "We may not be able to get him to 100 percent during the year, but 90 percent would be a lot better than 50 percent."
The 2010 NL MVP is hitting just .257 with six home runs and 12 RBI and says he has been having trouble digging in at the plate.
An MRI showed no structural damage to Votto's knee, which had to be operated on twice in 2012.
Votto is the 12th Red to be on the DL this season.
Bruce is expected to return to the lineup on Friday. The Reds have an off-day Thursday.
Todd Frazier and Neftali Soto both have filled in at first base for Votto and will likely continue to do so.