Frazier plays first base in Votto's absence

Frazier plays first base in Votto's absence

CINCINNATI -- When rookie Todd Frazier came to the ballpark on Monday and learned he was making his first start of the season at first base in place of Joey Votto, he assumed it would be a one-day thing.

Later, it was revealed that Votto would need left knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He will miss three to four weeks.

"It's a huge blow," Frazier said after he went 1-for-4 with a double in the Reds' 5-3 loss to Arizona. "We knew his knee was hurting, but we didn't know the extent. We'll have to come together a little more and keep working. We've got a good core of guys that can step up, including myself. It's going to be a tough grind, but at the same time, our pitching staff has been doing it all year."

Frazier logged one game at first base last season and primarily played third base when Scott Rolen was out with injuries. He can also play second base, shortstop and left field.

Defensively, Frazier caught a first-inning line drive from Lyle Overbay with a runner on first base, then touched the bag to get a double play.

Reds manager Dusty Baker could give Frazier more starts at first base, while mixing and matching with veteran Miguel Cairo.

"I don't know. It's a good possibility," Baker said of Frazier starting. "He'll play some first and some third. Miggy will play some first. Miggy is an outstanding first baseman. We just have to get Miggy swinging, because he saved us a couple of years ago when Joey was out for an extended period of time."

"Dusty talked to me yesterday during [batting practice] and told me to take some ground balls at first," Frazier said before the game. "That usually means I'm going to play that position for one day or whatever. I'm ready. I've played there a lot. It comes natural to me."

Frazier is batting .278 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. He also batted in Votto's third spot of the lineup against Arizona.

"Maybe I'll give Scotty a break at third when he needs or play mostly first," Frazier said. "I've been doing it two, three years now, of bouncing to all the different positions. No problem, I'm just trying to contribute like everyone else."