Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds will have catcher Devin Mesoraco back in the lineup for Friday's opener of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies, though they could be without All-Star first baseman Joey Votto for the entirety of their upcoming road trip.
Votto remained in Cincinnati Friday to undergo an MRI on his left knee, the results of which are yet unknown.
The injury may explain Votto's recent struggles at the plate. The slugger is batting just .182 (10-for-52) with two home runs and two RBI over his last 16 games and struck out in all three of his official at-bats Thursday against San Diego.
Votto is hitting a career-low .257 with six homers and 12 RBI in 39 games this season. The four-time All-Star has produced at least a .305 average in each of the previous five campaigns.
The 30-year-old missed more than seven weeks of the 2012 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in the same knee.
Catcher Brayan Pena will make his first career start at first base in Votto's place for Friday's contest.
Mesoraco, out since April 25 due to a strained left hamstring, will hit fifth and be behind the plate for Friday's game.
The former first-round pick also sat out the first week of this season while recovering from an oblique strain suffered during spring training, then batted a scorching .468 with three homers, six doubles and 13 RBI in 14 games upon returning to action.
Cincinnati will head to Washington for three games following its weekend set in Philadelphia.