Votto, Frazier given rest against Cubs

Votto, Frazier given rest against Cubs

CINCINNATI -- The Reds, who have had their worst struggles of the season during the final stretch of games, were forced to play Wednesday night vs. the Cubs without their two best offensive players in Joey Votto and Todd Frazier.

Votto's streak of games in which he's reached safely was put on hold for at least a night. The Reds' first baseman was rested, a decision based on health that manager Bryan Price originally indicated was possible following Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Chicago.

"I'm hoping the day off will make that portion of his back or shoulder blade feel good enough to play. We'll see," Price said on Wednesday.

Adam Duvall started at first base in Votto's place.

In the first inning while facing pitcher Dan Haren, Votto appeared to be in discomfort after he fouled off a 2-1 pitch. Following a moment in which he tried to stretch his back and shoulder, he attempted to bunt on the 2-2 pitch. The ball went foul, which gave Votto a strikeout.

Votto was 0-for-3 in the game but walked in his fourth plate appearance against Carl Edwards Jr. to extend his career-high streak of reaching safely to 46 games. That has him two games from tying the franchise record of 48 achieved by Pete Rose in 1978.

There are other lofty offensive achievements that Votto could reach in the season's final days. With one more home run and eight more walks, he would join Barry Bonds, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth as the only players in Major League history to bat at least .300 with at least 30 homers and 150 or more walks in a single season.

Votto came into Wednesday batting .316/.463/.551 with 29 homers, 78 RBIs and a league-leading 142 walks. He has reached safely 313 times this season, three shy of his own club record, set in 2013.

Frazier leaves the game

Frazier departed Tuesday's game before the fourth inning because of a slight strain to his right Achilles tendon. He attempted a sliding catch of Anthony Rizzo's popup in foul territory in the third inning.

Price had Frazier in his original lineup Wednesday after Frazier felt fine following some early hitting. But Frazier had yet to try running, an even bigger test.

"I feel better," Frazier said before batting practice. "I felt tight on that awkward slide going for the catch. My cleat got caught in the grass. Anything around that Achilles area, you get a little nervous nowadays. I didn't feel anything pop. It was really tight after that. I made the decision with Paul [Lessard, the head trainer] that I didn't think I should go back in."

Ivan De Jesus Jr. started in Frazier's spot at third base Wednesday.

Frazier is batting .257/.311/.505 in 153 games, with career highs and team highs with 35 home runs and 88 RBIs. He did not undergo a MRI exam and passed all of the initial tests on Tuesday night.

"I was able to walk. I could jump on it. It's basically a strain," he said.

Worth noting

• Reds pitcher Jon Moscot, who is trying to come back from a left shoulder dislocation on his non-throwing arm, had a successful bullpen session on Wednesday. It was his first time off of the mound since he was injured in June and had season-ending surgery.

"He came out of it feeling really good," Price said. "He will transition to Arizona, I believe he will fly [Thursday]. He'll have roughly a three-week workout/bullpen regimen slated for Arizona [in instructional league] until they are through."

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