CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek was collateral damage, of sorts, in the two-game suspension of catcher Devin Mesoraco last month. The Reds needed a catcher and Ondrusek was one of the few on the roster with options left, so he was sent down to Triple-A Louisville.
Ondrusek struggled in August but was having a good season overall, so the move came as a surprise.
"When I found out, it was kind of, 'What the heck is going on here?' They explained everything to me, and I understood. It's a business move," said Ondrusek, who was recalled on Saturday when rosters expanded. "Sometimes, you're going to come up short. There's nothing you can do about it but keep your head up and move on."
Ondrusek worked a perfect ninth inning and struck out one during the Reds' 4-2 loss to the Phillies on Monday. He is 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 54 games for the Reds this year. In August, he gave up five runs over 6 2/3 innings (6.75 ERA). In three appearances for Louisville, he allowed four runs, eight hits and four walks over four innings, with five strikeouts.
"It didn't go as well as I wanted [it] to. I went down there to try and get back on track," Ondrusek said. "Nobody goes through a season perfect. Everybody has times where they struggle. Mine happened to be at the wrong time. I always want to do my best and put up a zero, but I know it's not going to happen all the time. It's a matter of getting back on track, putting zeros up, getting guys out and finishing strong at the end."
Ondrusek hopes his track record and a strong finish will help him as far as postseason roster consideration goes, assuming the first-place Reds reach the playoffs.
"I'd like to think so, but it's still going to be all on performance and how I do in September," Ondrusek said. "As long as I do my job, everything should take care of itself."
Votto plays in additional rehab game
CINCINNATI -- The wait for Joey Votto's return to the Reds' lineup was extended at least one more day.
Votto's rehab assignment in the Minors stretched into Monday, when he played for Triple-A Louisville in their final game of the season. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a lineout in a rain-shortened game.
As for whether that meant the Reds first baseman would be back on Tuesday, manager Dusty Baker couldn't say.
"It's up to him on how he feels," Baker said on Monday morning. "Joey will be here soon. We just can't say when."
Votto, who is trying to return from two left knee surgeries that repaired damaged cartilage, went 1-for-3 with a solo homer for Louisville at Columbus on Saturday and did not play Sunday. He was 1-for-5 in three rehab games for Class A Dayton last week.
"I'm not really concerned with how he's doing, as much as how he's feeling," Baker said. "You don't get the same adrenaline rush. I told him to go down and look at as many pitches as possible, so he could get his eyes and hands together and speed differential together. And gauging pitches, I think that's as important as if you go down there and hit .800."
Following Monday's 4-2 loss to the Phillies, Cincinnati is 32-16 since Votto left the lineup on July 16. He went on the disabled list the following day and had his first surgery.
"We want him to do well, but we want him to feel good. We don't want a [Lance] Berkman situation like in St. Louis, where he goes back on the DL or something happens," Baker said. "We want him right. We have a bit of a luxury the way guys are playing now, where we don't have to rush him back."
Reds making plans in case Bray can't return
CINCINNATI -- Among the second wave of September callups expected on Tuesday is left-handed pitcher Tony Cingrani, from Double-A Pensacola. Cingrani was 10-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 26 games, including 25 starts, for Pensacola and Class A Bakersfield.
"He just pitched two days ago, so he won't be available for a couple of days," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Baker views Cingrani as an extra lefty in the bullpen, along with Sean Marshall and closer Aroldis Chapman. It also means the club isn't optimistic that lefty Bill Bray will be back. Bray has been on the disabled list with a back muscle strain since July 31.
"It's not looking like it. I hope so," Baker said while assessing whether Bray could return this month. "We're kind of running out of places for him to pitch. Everything is ending."
Bray has made eight rehab appearances for Triple-A Louisville. He allowed three runs and five hits over 1 2/3 innings on Saturday.
A reporter asked Baker on Monday about setting up his rotation for the postseason, but he wasn't ready to discuss it.
"I think everybody is getting a little ahead of themselves," Baker said. "The postseason is down the road. We've got a month to play. You can't assume you're there. Too many things can happen. You can't cross the finish line until you cross it. You want to cross it ahead of everybody else."