MLB Notes: Votto returns
By QMI Agency
|Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds talks with batting coach Brook Jacoby during the game against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park on July 30, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (JOE ROBBINS/Getty Images/AFP)
Joey Votto took grounders in the infield Thursday but the first baseman isn't ready to return to the Cincinnati Reds lineup just yet.
Votto had arthroscopic surgery July 17 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.
Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked whether the 28-year-old Canadian might be ready to play this weekend in a key series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"Oh, hell no," Baker told MLB.com. "What weekend? You've still got to run. He just started playing a little first base."
Originally, Votto was slated to be out at least three weeks, making his earliest possible return date next Tuesday.
Votto is hitting .342 this season with 14 homers and 49 RBI.
HACKERS HIT FACEBOOK
The Washington Nationals are not heading back to Montreal and Derek Jeter is not preparing to undergo, ahem, elective surgery and the Miami Marlins are not holding a free pitbull night.
Those are three of the bogus status updates that made the rounds Thursday after several MLB Facebook accounts were hacked.
"We're going back to Montreal. SEE YA SUCKERS!!!!!!" the Nationals Facebook account said.
Yankees fans were taken aback by a post that said: "We regret to inform our fans that Derek Jeter will miss the rest of the season with sexual reassignment surgery" while the Cubs feed had a crude message directed at comedian and long-time Cubbies fan Bill Murray.
NO GREINKE NEGOTIATIONS
The Los Angeles Angels haven't talked contract yet with new acquisition Zack Greinke, a pending free agent, general manager Jerry Dipoto told MLB.com.
Greinke told his previous team, the Milwaukee Brewers, that he intended to go on the open market in the off-season, which led to him being traded.
The Angels acquired the 28-year-old right-hander last Friday and, given their free-spending ways, it's thought they would make a contract offer before the end of the season.
WERTH BACK WITH NATS
The Washington Nationals activated outfielder Jayson Werth from the 60-day disabled list Thursday and placed reliever Henry Rodriguez on the 15-day DL with a low back strain.
Werth had been out almost three months after breaking his left wrist in a game May 6. He had surgery the next day.
The outfielder was batting .276 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 27 games before getting hurt.
Rodriguez has made 35 appearances for the Nationals this season, going 1-3 with nine saves and a 5.83 earned-run average.
Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hopes to come off the disabled list next week. Stanton, who had arthroscopic surgery July 9 to remove loose bodies from his right knee, was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday. The 22-year-old right fielder is hitting .284 with 19 homers and 50 RBI ... New York Mets closer Frank Francisco is set to come off the disabled list after recovering from an oblique muscle injury. The 32-year-old right-hander had four runless outings in a rehab assignment. He has a 4.97 ERA with 18 saves for the Mets this season ... Outfielder Shane Victorino, traded this week to the Los Angeles Dodgers, took out a full-page newspaper ad in Philadelphia to say thank you to Phillies fans. "Mahalo (goodbye) Philadelphia and to the amazing Phillies fans for all the great memories," the Hawaii native's ad said ... Josh Beckett, who suffered back spasms while pitching Tuesday, did not through a bullpen session Thursday and could miss his next scheduled start, Sunday, manager Bobby Valentine said.