Reds shouldn't panic over Votto injury

July, 16, 2012
7/16/12
8:46
PM ET
Bad news for the Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto is expected to miss three to four weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery.

Dusty Baker's initial move was to move rookie third baseman/left fielder Todd Frazier to first base and insert veteran Scott Rolen at third base.

While Rolen did deliver a big two-run single in the Reds' 4-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday night, he's been struggling all season when he has played, hitting .197/.260/.314 entering Monday's action. His struggles go back to 2011, when he posted a .279 on-base percentage. Considering Votto's .465 OBP was the best in the majors, we're obviously talking about a significant drop in value, as much as two wins on the hitting side over four weeks.

Baker has always been loyal to his veteran players, so he undoubtedly will give Rolen two weeks to keep his spot in the lineup. But the Reds will have to make a quick decision on Rolen's viability. They'd be wise to look for another guy who can play first base via the trade market -- maybe Ty Wigginton from the Phillies or Bryan LaHair from the Cubs.

The Reds have already been rumored to be interested in Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, a move which would push Drew Stubbs into a reserve role (assuming he isn't part of a deal). Victorino, a switch-hitter, would also provide the Reds a much-needed bat from the left side. Votto and Jay Bruce are the team's only southpaw swingers currently on the 25-man roster. That's another reason to go after LaHair.

If there's a silver lining for the Reds, it's that it comes at a soft spot in their schedule: Including Monday's game against Arizona, 24 of their next 27 games are against teams currently with losing records.

David Schoenfield | email

SweetSpot blogger

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