WASHINGTON -- Just when Jay Bruce was deemed ready to return to the field, Joey Votto had to take his place on the disabled list Wednesday.
The Reds announced that Votto was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a distal quadriceps strain, and Bruce was activated after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Votto's DL stint is retroactive to May 16. The four-time All-Star is batting .257 with six home runs and 12 RBIs in 39 games this season.
"We don't want to give Joey a week off and then have him slightly improved from when we left him," manager Bryan Price said. "We want him to be as close -- we might not be able to get him to 100 percent during the year, but 90 percent would be a lot better than 50 percent."
Bruce had surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee earlier this month. Before Wednesday's series finale with the Nationals, Price said the outfielder was "very close" to returning.
Less than an hour before the game, the team then announced that Bruce, who's batting .216 with three home runs in 30 games this season, would be activated.
"He came out great. He feels really, really good," Price said of Bruce's progress.
Bruce, who last played on May 4, was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday. The Reds have an off-day Thursday before opening a three-game series with the Cardinals in Cincinnati on Friday.
Ludwick misses finale with knee swelling
WASHINGTON -- The shorthanded Reds were without yet another bat in Wednesday's series finale with the Nationals, as Ryan Ludwick was out of the lineup.
The left fielder had "a little bit of swelling and inflammation just above his left kneecap," manager Bryan Price said. "With a day off tomorrow, it just seemed to make sense to give him today [off] and then he'll get [Thursday] off and then hopefully we'll have him at 100 percent for the St. Louis series."
Cincinnati hosts the Cardinals for a three-game set starting on Friday.
The 35-year-old Ludwick is batting .246 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 36 games this season, numbers that mirror his entire production during an injury-ravaged 2013 campaign. He batted .240 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 38 games last season.
"It hasn't been a great start," Price said. "But it hasn't been a terrible start, either. I know he'd like to hit for a bit more power and hit a few more home runs and doubles, but I think that will come.
"I think last year was a huge blow with the shoulder separation, missing the bulk of the season. We tried to get him back [late] in the season. He just wasn't the same guy. We're still hopeful that he'll come back and give us a real good performance here the rest of the way.
Davis to represent Reds at 2014 Draft
WASHINGTON -- One of the best Draft picks in Reds history will represent the club at the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
Outfielder and two-time All-Star Eric Davis will represent the Reds at MLB Network's Studio 42 on June 5.
Davis, an eighth-round pick by Cincinnati in 1980, will join other baseball greats including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins, Tommy Lasorda and Tony Perez.
Scout Lee Seras will also represent the Reds at the Draft.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.