Votto close to making Cactus League debut

Reds skipper Price says star slugger is 'champing at the bit' to get into lineup

Votto close to making Cactus League debut

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Although there hasn't been a specific date or game revealed, Reds manager Bryan Price expressed confidence Thursday that first baseman Joey Votto is close to making his Cactus League debut.

Votto, who missed 100 games last season because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps, has not been in the lineup for the first three games vs. the Indians.

"I promise you, you won't have to hold your breath for this," Price said.

The Reds and Votto spent the winter more focused on his rehabilitation and strengthening and less on getting him into "baseball shape," which put him behind schedule for game action.

"Just to reiterate, you guys know we just went too far into the rehab and made a commitment to do an extensive rehab to do anything before we feel like he's ready," Price said. "I think he's very close, and he's champing at the bit to get in there."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.