CINCINNATI -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto has long had a reputation for being patient, knowing the strike zone and waiting for the right pitch to hit. His hits this season have underscored that.
According to MLB Network research, each of Votto's 25 hits this season entering Monday has come on a pitch that was located in the strike zone. He's the only player in the league with more than 20 hits to not have at least one on a pitch out of the zone.
"There's no secret that it's what I'm trying to do at the plate. If the results confirm that, then I guess that's good," Votto said Monday.
Votto entered the series opener vs. the Cubs batting .287/.471/.438 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. His 21 walks were tied with Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen for the National League lead and he is third in on-base percentage.
Votto has chased 18.8 percent of pitches out of the strike zone, while the league average is just under 28 percent.
"My only focus is to constantly pick out the right pitches to swing at and put swings on it, not miss my opportunities and do that over and over and over again 162 times, and on to a World Series," Votto said.
Latos takes another step in 'slow, steady' rehab
CINCINNATI -- By his own admission, the process to get Reds starter Mat Latos back on a mound has been tedious, frustrating and difficult. That doesn't mean Latos is going to try to take the express route.
It's been slow because it needs to be.
"I definitely have to hit the ground running to help out the ballclub," Latos said Monday. "The pitching staff has been fantastic. But I definitely want to get back and be 100 percent. I don't want to be 90 or 95 percent. I don't think that's fair with the way [Alfredo] Simon has been pitching and the staff has been pitching to jump in at 90 percent take someone else [out] that's been doing a good job."
Latos had bone chips removed from his right elbow in an October surgery. He was almost fully recovered when he tore the meniscus cartilage in his left knee just before Spring Training opened and needed another surgery. Earlier this month in a rehab assignment game, he strained the flexor mass tendon near his right forearm and was shut down from throwing for 10 days.
On Wednesday, Latos began throwing again on flat ground from a distance of 75 feet. He increased that distance to 90 feet Monday.
"It's been a slow, steady, boring process of trying to make it back again," Latos said. "Everything feels fine, but we've had this before. We've had it where everything felt fine and then another hiccup. Hopefully we've got it right. I will say that everything feels better than it did the last time we tried to progress and get back on to the mound in a [Minor] League game. I've been on the shelf since Oct. 11 and haven't been able to do anything."
Latos hopes to be throwing from 120 feet by the middle of this week. If that goes well, he could advance to a bullpen session from a mound.
"We hope to get up on the mound within the next week," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Once he's been on the mound a couple of times, we can do a simulated game and then get him back into rehab games. He's not starting from square one."
Schumaker begins Triple-A rehab assignment
CINCINNATI -- Following a weekend stint at extended spring in Arizona, Reds infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Monday.
Schumaker, on the disabled list because of a dislocated left shoulder suffered in a Spring Training game March 21, batted second for the Bats at Buffalo.
"He's following the exact protocol we set collectively," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We wanted Skip to have a lot of influence on how the schedule was set because no one knows where he's at better than he does. I think he got 18-19 at-bats over two days in Arizona, leading off every inning. He saw a lot of pitches, got a lot of at-bats and he feels anxious to be playing. He'd like to speed up his rehab schedule."
There is no timetable for how long Schumaker would be with Louisville.
"It could be rather quick or it could take a little bit longer if he's not all the way ready," Price said.
Hannahan's repaired right shoulder 'feeling good'
CINCINNATI -- Injured Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan, on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from October right shoulder surgery, was on the field throwing at Great American Ball Park on Monday. Hannahan had been at the team's player development complex in Goodyear, Ariz., until Sunday.
"It's been feeling good," said Hannahan, who had a torn labrum repaired. "A lot better this go-around than the last go-around. I'm up to two sessions at 110 feet and it's feeling pretty good."
Hannahan had started hitting during Spring Training, but he was shut down after a setback. There was no timetable on how long before he could begin a rehab assignment.
"I need to be consistent at 120 [feet] and feeling good and then we'll throw some balls across the diamond," Hannahan said. "I haven't swung a bat yet. That will probably come after that."