But when the Reds' best hitter returns to the starting lineup, batting third in Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Phillies, no one in Cincinnati will be complaining at the addition of the 2010 National League MVP and a favorite for the award this season until he underwent a pair of arthroscopic knee surgeries that caused him to miss nearly two months.
"As of right now, he will probably start [Wednesday]," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday as his club will be looking to take its first season series from Philadelphia since 2003. "Then we have to watch him if there's a long inning one way or the other, if he gets sore, if he makes a wrong move -- we're going to try to preserve him and work him back in there."
Because the series finale is an afternoon affair and the Reds are off Thursday, Wednesday should be the perfect day to play Votto, because of the extra recovery time. The three-time All-Star was activated Tuesday but did not play.
Votto and the Reds will be facing Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay, who has fared well against Cincinnati. He is 3-1 in his career with a 3.08 ERA, not including his playoff no-hitter against Cincinnati in 2010.
He'll be looking to rekindle some of that magic coming off a poor start Friday in Atlanta, where he failed to pitch at least five innings for just the third time in 85 starts for Philadelphia.
Halladay allowed four runs on seven hits, four walks and two homers in 4 2/3 innings. He became ill the night before and after the third inning he told pitching coach Rich Dubee "he had no legs."
"I was just kind of zapped when I got out there," Halladay said after the game. "I tried to battle as much as I could. I just didn't have enough there by the fifth inning."
Opposing Halladay will be Reds righty Mike Leake, who will be looking to get his record back to .500. Leake has won two straight since an August loss to the Phillies where he was pounded for a career-high seven runs.
Phillies: Rollins reaches milestone
With his fifth-inning double, shortstop Jimmy Rollins joined an elite group in the City of Brotherly Love -- the 2,000 hit club.
The three other members of Philadelphia's 2,000 hit club, Mike Schmidt (2,234), Richie Ashburn (2,217) and Ed Delahanty (2,207) are all members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
There are 271 players who have accomplished the feat. Nineteen of those are current players, including Rollins' teammates Placido Polanco and Juan Pierre.
Reds: Three callups head to 'pen
Cincinnati called up three pitchers on Tuesday, as Todd Redmond and Pedro Villarreal were recalled from Triple-A Louisville and Tony Cingrani had his contract selected from Double-A Pensacola.
Because of the roster expansion, Cincinnati has an 11-man bullpen.
"I've got my eyes open on how guys are handling this or paying attention and working hard, if they throw strikes in the 'pen and their background and record," Baker said. "We are not here for no tryout camp. We're here to win the pennant. We haven't won the pennant yet."
Votto has hit well against Halladay, with six hits (two of them doubles and one a home run) in 19 at-bats. He also has three walks.
Leake has struggled mightily in four starts against the Phillies in his career, with an 8.03 ERA and an 0-2 record.
With their loss Tuesday, the Phillies fell a game below .500 on the road this season, having posted a 33-34 mark away from Citizens Bank Park.