Update 2: Now Kevin Goheen, who at least earlier this morning worked for Fox Sports Ohio, is saying “please pay no attention to that previous tweet.”

Well,we said it was a rumor. One of those rumors that makes more sense than reality so we all assume it’s true.

Original Post: Kevin Goheen from Fox Sports Ohio has tweeted that Joey Votto’s locker is empty this morning at GABP.

Votto is also not in the lineup today. That sounds like pretty solid evidence that he’s been put on the disabled list, although no announcement yet from the Reds. If that happens, it will surprise exactly no one. There is no word on the status of Nibbles.

The timing would mean that if Votto returns after 15 days, he’d be back for the entire Milwaukee series following the All Star break, but would miss the Yankees trip. With Votto playing in the first two games of this series, the Reds – whether deliberately or not – maximized his number of games competing against the first place team in the division.

If Votto is headed for the disabled list, we begin the next installment of the nightmare that is the Reds’ disastrous organizational depth.

Update: Sources from meeting with Bryan Price say this is just a “day off” for Votto. That still might mean he’s headed for the DL. If he doesn’t play, the disabled list clock can still be backdated to today. The empty locker, if true, would indicate that. If this was just a “day off” then why not have Votto dress for the game, just in case he’s needed to pinch hit? Or to be there to support his team. My interpretation of all we know (and it’s changing by the minute, so this could be proven wrong quickly) is that Votto is headed for the DL backdated to today, whether or not they announce it today.

And, for the record, if Votto isn’t available today but is going on the DL and the Reds know it, that means they’re playing another man short (oh, against the first place team in the division).

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 52 Comments

  1. Why would his locker be empty?

    • The theory would be that he was told yesterday that he was going on the DL and he cleaned out his locker because he wasn’t going to be around for two weeks.

      • On the other hand, you’d think he might want to be there to support his team.

      • You may not have seen this, but this tweet about his locker being empty apparently sparked a lot of rumors on the internet that Votto had been TRADED, possibly for David Price. Just thought that was funny.

  2. I dont think his stuff is gone, just him. Obviously he has not been traded.

    • No doubt, who would want a permanently hobbled 1B (been injured the past 2 years +) that is owed $25M/year 5 years from now when he is an old broken down player?

  3. I think they’re just dramatizing him definitely not playing

  4. I would have been shocked to see him in the lineup today but I thought they might wait until the break to make a move. I just don’t see how 15 days is going to make a difference. 25 days only seemed to make things worse last time. I would not be the least bit surprised if we have seen Votto for the last time in 2014.

    • I agree that 15 days is unlikely to help. But at least this way they get the four days of the ASB counted if it does. He may get better (stronger) enough to play in the Milwaukee series after the break.

  5. Clearly, they think Pena is the long term replacement for Votto based on TB being up. I know its not likely, but if they made a move for Josh Willingham now, you could rest Votto for 2 months. Without Votto what do you do when we are at .500 at the July deadline? I know the answer is nothing, thats what the GM does.

  6. Reports from the meeting with Bryan Price that this is just a day off for Votto.

  7. Barnhart is up because Peña is on paternity leave.

  8. Fay tweeting that it’s just a day off for Votto. Bryan Price’s call. Votto needs to be on the DL. Bryan Price needs to be dismissed from his duties.

    • Bryan Price doesn’t make the DL decisions.

      • True, but he is the one responsible for playing Votto every day through this latest escapade.

        • I would certainly think that but have no way of knowing and either does anyone else here. I’m not ready to exonerate Price from any responsibility until we know more. I want to know who is responsible for the Jumbo Diaz screw up.

        • Well if the manager doesn’t have the authority to sit a clearly injured player then we have a bigger problem on our hands.

        • What Jumbo Diaz screw-up? Did something happen?

        • Just the opposite James. With Ondru, JJ and Marshall, why were they hiding this guy. Once, and if, the Management determines we are out of it, I’d trade Broxton and take a long hard look at Jumbo in the set-up man role with any eye as the 2015 closer. That guy has some seriously nasty stuff.

        • Why wait – if the Reds could trade Broxton for a couple solid bats – at least bats better than they have now (LF trio – Schumaker, Heisey and Ludwick) they should do it. And get a hitter to play 1B – even with the thought of possibly calling up and playing Soto full-time at 1B – as deep down believe Votto is toast – maybe permanently.

      • Sure sounds to me like he has some influence at least.

        • So from “some influence at least” we get to “dismissed from his duties” ?

  9. Scary thought, who is our DH in NY? I bet its Mesorraco, with Pena at 1B and Barhart at C. That is a way to waste your advantage at C!

    • Don’t follow.

      • There is a myth Reds have catcher depth since they were able to trade Hanigan to stock pile their minor league arms. Pena had a great May, Tucker almost hit a game changing homer in Fenway that would have been out of most big league parks, guys stepped up but Corky Miller could do what they are going since then. The point would be valid if having 2 decent catchers would be an advantage but having a back-up 1B that cannot do better than Sean Casey currently is a serious disadvantage- there has got to be someone out their that can get on at a .330+ clip and play defense at first better than Pena, I have no doubt Pete Rose could for a week or so. I say put Joey on the 60 day, and give a trial to all the former 1B greats once a week. Great way to spark fan interest

    • I doubt they’ll use Mes as DH, since Pena is on paternity leave. More likely they’ll put Heisey in as DH.

      • Pena isn’t going to be on leave for 2 weeks.

      • Do you mean Chris Heisey – the player that fouls off fastballs right down the middle of the plate?

        • Ok stop being so negative, First off, everyone fouls off good pitches. Even a guy like Mike Trout, best hitter in the mlb. Second, Heisey is a much better hitter than anyone else on our bench currently

  10. If it’s just a “day off” for Votto, doesn’t he still dress (um, at his locker) and be there to pinch hit and support his teammates?

    • Something’s up. Fay also reporting that Castellini was meeting with Price in Price’s office.

      • This is music to my ears regardless of the nature of the conversation. As long as the discussion is about the team, that is. Hopefully BC is informing BP that the job is year-to-year, at this point. If and when Price proves himself, this would change.

        • I’m glad you’re not running things for the Reds. You don’t make a Manager hire like that, have him deal with an unusual number of critical injuries, watch him hold the team together so they’re still in the Division and WC hunt, and then start second guessing him/yourself and “putting him on notice.” From what I’ve read of Castellini, he’s far more likely to be reassuring Price and telling him to keep his head up than delivering a warning. Because that’s the right call, and Bob’s a very smart man.

        • I think Mr. Price better get his bags packed – as the Reds simply hired the wrong guy. Reds needed an offensive minded manager and they choose Price – go figure.

        • James, this isn’t football. Whether the manager is “offensive minded” or not really doesn’t matter. He’s not the hitting coach. Do you think Votto and Bruce would be hitting better if Price were more offensive minded?

          Bob Castellini didn’t get where he is by not trusting himself. He thought Price was the right guy for the job, and Price has taken a team pounded by injuries to a better than .500 record and playoff contention. We’ve outscored the offensive minded Brewers this series, we’re 6-3 against them this year, and I seriously doubt Big Bob has seen anything this year to make him think “well, I guess I screwed up when I hired this guy. I guess I’d better panic and make a change.”

        • Thanks Eric, whole-heartedly disagree with you but guess that is the purpose of this board. An offensive minded manager (from years gone by – Pete Rose) would have had a discussion with Jay Bruce to adjust and stop hitting the ball into the teeth of the shift. Pete took every advantage on offense – Price not so much. Even by his own admission Price knows pitching not hitting. Definitely one of his deficiencies.

        • I hear you James. Constructive disagreement isn’t a bad thing, it’s a great thing. I’m always glad to hear from someone who disagrees with me, as long as it’s civil and hopefully with some insightful facts or analysis thrown into the mix 🙂

        • Eric, I understand and appreciate your point but I’m guessing I’m more like Bob C then most. Hiring a first time manager was the height of risk taking and foolish. I mean, 1st time anywhere at any level.

          If the Reds finish 4th place or lower, look for the deck to be cleared next season.

        • Charlotte, do you take a lot of foolish risks? Neither does Bob C. If he thought hiring Price was a foolish risk he wouldn’t have done it. And IMHO nothing that’s happened is likely to make him look back and say “what was I thinking? I guess I temporarily forgot everything I ever learned about management and took a flyer with the Price hire. Oh, well, my bad.”

        • Eric, I’d bet you a juicy steak he never hires a manager with zero-point-zero experience again. Might have seemed like a good idea at the time but more than likely he is now saying to himself, “what the heck was I thinking?” or “how did I let Walt talk me into that?”. Yes, I have taken a lot of risks, some have not worked out as well as I had planned (smile).

  11. A day off doesn’t mean you’re cleaning out your locker. You dress and sit on the bench. Come on. Hello?

    • so what is the truth, is Votto not around? Is there a reason and is this really shabby reporting?

  12. Like sands through an hour glass, these are The Days of Our Lives. No worries, Jack Hannahan is riding in on his white horse. To be continued…

    • He better not be riding Nibbles, Joey says “Nobody rides Nibbles” 🙂

  13. The Reds can’t catch a break….Peña’s paternity leave couldn’t come at a worse time than against the division leader and with Votto hobbled/Peña his backup. I hope he’s back before we have 5 games in 4 days.

    • He really should have planned that better. He probably will be in labor for 2 weeks, I think Paternity leaves tend to linger longer than quad injuries

  14. Wow. So many people willing to throw Price to the trash without even knowing the entire story. Is he the best manager in baseball? Probably not. Is he the worst? Probably not. Reds fans are a fickle as a teenage girl.
    Price has had to deal with a ton of adversity while learning how to manage. His managerial position is 100 percent OJT man. I think that implies that the Reds assumed that they would not even be in contention this year to some extent or that they are at least investing in Price for the long term. I don’t see them firing him after this season.

    Questions. How many teams would hire a rookie manager for a staff that they believed could win them a world series in his first year of managing?
    How many rookie managers have won a world series?
    Doesn’t it make more sense to bring in a rookie manager and train him to what you want and keep him around for the long haul?
    Does anyone think that there is another manager out there that would have better luck with the same players with the same injuries and limitations that we currently have?
    What are the playoff odds for the Reds right now?

  15. Has anyone considered Votto’s “mental health”? He has suffered from depression in the past-just a thought. In addition, is there “zero thought” about SOME kind of discussion to acquire a bat?

  16. Why is he not on the dl? Anyone with at least one eye can see he’s injured

  17. Some of you guys are nuts.

    • That’s what I am thinking too.

    • You are irrational if you think we are nuts, it is time to Fire somebody, do a fire sale so all those River Bats fans can witness what real AAA players are like and start playing for 2016 anchored by a rotation led by Stephenson and closed out by Nick Howard

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.