It’s rare that you’d note an injury to a player on a non-contending team as possibly impacting the races of contending teams, but Joey Votto is a rare player.
After playing through the lingering discomfort associated with a pitch he took off of the leg back at the beginning of the month, Votto and the Reds finally decided to give him a break on the disabled list. He’ll be eligible to return, at the earliest, on August 26th.
That means Votto will miss the Reds’ upcoming three-game series against the Brewers, and then at least the first three games against the Cubs next weekend (he’d be eligible to return on Sunday). If he misses more time, he’d once again miss the Brewers, and then possibly the Cardinals.
Votto, 35 next month, is having a down year by his lofty standards – .284/.422/.419, 132 wRC+ – but his absence still stings that Reds lineup. He’d been hitting just .227/.379/.273 since the injury, though, so it was time to give him a break.
In turn, it’ll give the Brewers and Cubs a break. In theory, then, this is no help to either club vis a vis each other, but it could help them both relative to the Cardinals.