Cincinnati Reds lineup missing Joey Votto for first time in 2016

Votto played in 62 games two seasons ago. He played in 156 last season. He started the first 33 games this season, the only Red to do so. Manager Bryan Price gave Votto his first day off Wednesday for the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds didn’t play Tuesday because of a rainout. They’re off Thursday before traveling to Philadelphia, so this will be a three-day break for Votto unless he plays Wednesday as a pinch hitter.

“I anticipated him taking a day off before the off day to get him back-to-back days off to really get him recovery time and rest,” Price said. “With the rain out, it’ll give us a chance to have him miss only one game and get three days of rest. It couldn’t have worked out any better. He’s played in almost every inning of every game. The timing’s good.”

Votto played in all but five of the 290 innings the Reds were on the field in the first 33 games. He’s hitting .234 but had hits in seven of the first nine games in May and RBIs in the last four games before Wednesday.

“You can’t out-work this guy,” Price said. “He’s put in an unbelievable amount of time with (hitting coaches) Don (Long) and Tony (Jaramillo). We know the history of what Joey does. It was inevitable it would come back around. I do see better swings. He’s on base a lot more. He’s smoking some balls.”

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