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Joey Votto lands on Covid list, Tyler Stephenson returns for Reds

We discuss Joey Votto going on the COVID IL list and Tyler Stephenson returning as his replacement.

Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds bats in the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park on April 28, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been placed on the COVID injured list, per Charlie Goldsmith. In a corresponding move, the team has activated catcher/first baseman Tyler Stephenson from the IL. Cincinnati hasn’t said whether or not Votto has tested positive, has symptoms or is a close contact of someone else who tested positive. Votto could be gone only a few days or up to 10 days based on MLB’s health and safety protocols for the 2022 season.

The Reds are off to a historically bad start with a 3-19 record and are cemented in last place in the NL Central division. Votto may benefit from the break to get his head right. He has played in 22 games and is batting .122 to this point in the season.

Stephenson should be a nice spark to the lineup returning from the seven-day IL after a concussion. He was only able to play in 11 games ahead of hitting the IL but is hitting .267 with two home runs. Cincinnati begins a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.