CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 30: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds talks with batting coach Brook Jacoby during the game against the San Diego Padres at GABP. Votto's been on disabled list since July 16 (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts Monday in a rehab start with Triple-A Louisville, leaving him unsure what's next.
Votto said he felt better than he did a couple of days ago. He played two games at Louisville, going 1 for 6. He also appeared in three games at Class A Dayton last week, going 1 for 5.
Votto hasn't played since July 15 because of damaged cartilage in his left knee that required two operations. He can be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the Reds, but they've been more interested in having him play games with the minor league teams and get his knee fully recovered.
He played on Friday at Louisville, but had a game Saturday rained out. Louisville ended its season on Monday.
"I felt better today than I felt two days ago," Votto said. "The at-bats weren't a concern. I know I struck out a couple of times and missed opportunities to run out of the (batter's) box. I just wanted to move around some at first base."
Votto will talk to the Reds again about their plans. Cincinnati opened a homestand on Monday with a 4-2 loss to Philadelphia.
"I will go in tomorrow and have a meeting with the Reds people and see what they say about my progress and my knee," Votto said. "I'll just play it by ear. I'll let my body tell me when I feel like I'm getting there. I'm not very far off."
The Reds have taken control of the NL Central while their 2010 National League MVP has been sidelined, going 32-16. Votto was batting .342 with 14 home runs and 49 runs batted in when he left the lineup.
"It's up to him and how he feels," manager Dusty Baker said before the game on Monday in Cincinnati. "I'm not really concerned about how well he's doing (at the plate) as how he's feeling.
"We have a bit of a luxury with the way guys are playing now. We don't have to rush him back."
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