Duquette on the Reds' early season injury woes

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Mat Latos could be headed for his first rehab start after throwing live batting practice on Tuesday, according to Reds manager Bryan Price.

Price said Latos, who's been rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right elbow and left knee, threw the equivalent of two innings in a simulated game -- about 40 pitches -- and everything looked good. The rehab start could come next if all goes well.

"I think it was a positive all the way around," Price said. "If he gets through everything in the next couple days, I think we can slot him five days from now for his first rehab start."

Price said it's possible Latos could go three or four innings in that rehab start. But the location is to be determined, as it will depend upon the weather and where the Minor League teams are playing.

Jay Bruce, also on the disabled list with left knee issues, batted against Latos and clearly liked what he saw in the workout and simulated game.

"He looked like Latos, honestly," Bruce said. "I hope that he comes back soon, because he's going to be a big boost to us."

Bruce comes out of workout feeling good

CIN@ATL: Bruce slaps a run-scoring single to center

WASHINGTON -- Jay Bruce, on the disabled list since May 6 with left knee problems, fared well in his workout before Tuesday's game. Bruce is eligible to be activated on Wednesday, and he was very pleased with how the knee felt.

"It felt good, it felt normal," Bruce said. "There's still some swelling there, and the range of motion isn't perfect, but I knew that. Structurally, it's great."

In terms of his return and if he could even come back Wednesday, Bruce hesitated and smiled.

"I don't want to put dates on it," he said. "Getting close, really close. We'll see [how I] bounce back from this. Today was the most involved day that I've had so far. I ran the bases full speed, hit off Mat Latos, and if I bounce back from this, we're heading in the right direction pretty fast."

Manager Bryan Price also liked Bruce's workout. In addition to hitting off Latos, he said Bruce ran the bases, did cutting and zig-zagging in the outfield and even slid into third base -- some of the requirements needed in order to be activated.

When asked about a possible rehab assignment, Price said the Reds were undecided. But Bruce made it clear that he felt none was needed.

"I took my rehab today," he said with a smile. "Off Latos."

Votto remains out of lineup, in holding pattern

Votto's MRI shows no structural damage in knee

WASHINGTON -- Joey Votto missed his fifth straight game on Tuesday with a distal quadriceps strain in his left knee. Although the Reds remain one player short, they aren't too upset about it.

Manager Bryan Price said that, for now, he's "comfortable" with what they've got for the final two games of this series in Washington. He added that Votto is continuing his rehab and getting the soreness out of that area, and the club will decide what to do with him when returning home.

"I think it will be more realistic probably after the day off [Thursday, we'll] probably have a better understanding if he can play or if he's close to being able to play or if we'll have to make a decision on if it makes more sense to put him on the disabled list," Price said. "[We] just remain optimistic Joey will be ready to play when we get back. If he's not, I think we're going to have weathered the storm and, of course, it's always game by game.

Price said he didn't think being one man short really hurt the Reds in Monday's 15-inning marathon.

The Reds used all of their bench players, but still made it through and pulled out a 4-3 victory. In fact, Price said they still had Sean Marshall available to pitch two innings and could even have gone to Alfredo Simon to throw -- even though he's scheduled to start Wednesday.

Worth noting

• Price gave catcher Devin Mesoraco the day off after Monday's marathon game. The skipper said he planned to sit Mesoraco anyway, letting Johnny Cueto keep throwing to Brayan Pena.

• The Reds made two errors in Monday's win, only the second time all season they've done that. Cincinnati has the highest fielding percentage (.991) and the fewest number of errors (15) in the Major Leagues.

• The Reds' hitting problems with men on base have continued, as they entered Tuesday with just a .102 average on their road trip. They're just 5-for-49 in those situations, including 2-for-24 on Monday, when they stranded a season-high 14.