Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is inching toward a return to the lineup.
Votto, who has been sidelined for three weeks with a strained left quadriceps muscle, fielded ground balls and took batting practice Thursday. There is still no timetable for the Toronto native's return, though.
"He's been doing everything he can to get ready, but again, it will all come down to strength, more than anything," Reds manager Bryan Price said on the team website. "I think the soreness, I won't say it's a non-issue, but it's not as prevalent as it once was. And now it's just a matter of the strength and getting out there and playing a little bit and making sure everything's where we need it to be to activate him."
Votto got off to a slow start this season, hitting .257 with six homers and 12 RBIs in 39 games before hurting his knee.
SOX COACH AILING
Boston Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn suffered a stroke before Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Indians, the team announced Thursday.
Colbrunn, 44, was taken from Progressive Field to a hospital in Cleveland after experiencing dizziness before the game.
"Greg was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic last night after experiencing dizziness prior to Wednesday's Red Sox-Indians game," the Red Sox statement said. "After evaluation, it was determined that Greg had suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage. Red Sox medical director, Dr. Larry Ronan, and physicians from the Cleveland Clinic expect Greg to make a good recovery. However, for the next few days, Greg will remain in Cleveland for further evaluation."
Colbrunn is expected to return to the Red Sox this season. Assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez will fill in for him until then.
OGANDO SHUT DOWN
Texas Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando will be shut down for nearly a month after an MRI showed "accute inflammation" and "existing wear and tear" in his right elbow.
Ogando, who was put on the disabled list, doesn't require surgery to fix the problem but the Rangers won't let him throw for three weeks. He will be evaluated at that point and, if there is no pain, he will resume throwing.
"I think things are going to depend on how I feel," Ogando said through an interpreter on the Dallas Morning News website. "I'm relieved that what has happened to me is not as bad as it could be. What happens, happens for a reason."
Ogando is 2-3 with one save in 27 appearances this season.
LATOS HAS INJURY SETBACK
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos is closer to making his 2014 debut, but encountered another injury in a rehab start.
Latos left his third Triple-A rehab start in the fifth inning Wednesday with cramping in his calf.
Manager Bryan Price said it wasn't deemed serious and Latos was to be evaluated further in Cincinnati.
"We're getting closer to him rejoining the club, so it was disappointing that he didn't get the innings and pitch limit we had set," Price said. "It's under consideration if we want to activate him or give him another start to get stretched out."
Latos had surgery in the offseason and immediately encoutered a setback with his throwing arm in spring training.
Free agent DH Kendrys Morales will sign within the next couple of days, according to CBS Sports. The New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and one other team are in the running for Morales, the report says ... The New York Yankees activated outfielder Carlos Beltran off the DL Thursday. Beltran was out for three weeks with bone spurs in his right elbow ... Washington Nationals young star Bryce Harper could be back in the lineup by July 1, according to CSNWashington.com. Harper had surgery on his left thumb six weeks ago.