CINCINNATI -- Both the Reds and first baseman Joey Votto have been pleased enough with recent improvements with his strained left quadriceps that he was slated to take the next step forward Tuesday by taking batting practice with the team on the field.
"I feel good, a lot better than a few weeks ago," Votto said before going on the field. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and being a part of the routine. It's been awhile since I've been able to do the things that are asked of us on a daily basis. I'm excited."
However, rain cut short Reds batting practice before it could really begin. Besides hitting on the field, Votto was also expected to run the bases and take ground balls. Although he did some hitting while the team was away on a road trip last week, he didn't run or take grounders.
Most importantly, Votto felt like he was getting the strength back in his leg after a couple of weeks of rehab. He's been out of the lineup since his last game May 15 and went on the disabled list May 21.
"I feel like I was before I got hurt earlier in the season," he said. "If I can get to a good place, you're going to see a little bit more of the younger version of me.
"It's one of these injuries that takes a little bit of time. Strength can't happen in a short period of time. It takes a little bit of time to get it there and integrating the baseball stuff, which is something I haven't really done as much."
Once Votto shows he can hit, field and run without issue, he is expected to begin a rehab assignment. The length isn't known, but it will likely be at least two games.
"We'll have a chance for the next day or two to assess ourselves where he is and get some feedback from our trainers that are seeing him for the first time in a week," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
With elbow better, Hamilton returns to Reds lineup
CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton was back in his usual leadoff spot and starting Tuesday vs. the Giants after a sore right elbow kept him out of Sunday's game at Arizona.
Rest benefited Hamilton, who said he felt 100 percent again. He successfully tested his arm by playing catch on the field Tuesday afternoon.
"It's a lot better today," Hamilton said. "I took the off-day yesterday to see the doctor, and everything's fine. Today, it's more of my decision if I could play or not."
In the sixth inning Saturday after he caught Paul Goldschmidt's deep drive, Hamilton didn't feel right after he made a long throw to third base as A.J. Pollock advanced on the out.
"It happened and it went away and I kept playing the game," Hamilton said. "And then the next day I was throwing the ball to bases in [batting practice] and I felt the same thing, but a lot more sharper pain and that's when I told [the club]."
Reds manager Bryan Price wanted to be cautious with Hamilton's arm and kept him out of Sunday's game.
"Our concern was getting worse if he has to throw from the outfield in Arizona," Price said. "Knowing we had a day off on Monday, it gave him two straight days off for him to get some of the soreness and swelling out."
• Former Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens, who was signed by the Reds last month to a Minor League contract, debuted for Triple-A Louisville on Monday. Jurrjens allowed one run and five hits over five innings with one walk and eight strikeouts for a 4-1 victory over Columbus.
To make room for Jurrjens on the roster, the Reds released left-handed starter Matt Maloney. In two starts since he was brought back to the organization from the independent Atlantic League, Maloney was 0-2 with a 16.20 ERA.