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Reds’ Joey Votto Facing Uncertain Future After Rehab Assignment Ends

Reds first baseman Joey Votto ended his minor league rehab assignment Saturday, but it doesn’t appear the organization is planning to move the former NL MVP to the active roster. 

Votto, who was recalled from his rehab assignment after the maximum allowable 20 days, will return to Cincinnati to further rehabilitate his shoulder, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

Rosecrans indicates there’s no clear answer as to whether Votto will return this season or even play beyond the 2023 campaign

With Votto’s timeline to return to the Reds still unclear, the veteran figures to remain on the 15-day IL, which is where he started the season. 

After undergoing surgery in August to repair a torn rotator cuff, Votto has been working his way back to full strength. He was sent out on a rehab assignment to Triple A Louisville, and despite hitting a home run in his first plate appearance, the 39-year-old struggled overall during his stint in the minor leagues.

The six-time All-Star struck out 21 times in 38 at-bats at Triple A, recording just seven hits during his 10-game stint with Louisville.

Votto can be allotted a new 20-day clock when he’s ready for another rehab assignment, should the organization opt to take that route with him.

Last season, Votto’s 16th in MLB, the 39-year-old slashed .205/.319/.370 while appearing in 91 games. He had 11 home runs and 41 RBI in what was a career-worst season before undergoing season-ending surgery in August.