Tag: Joey Votto

Votto Posts .408 Batting Average After All-Star Break

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto finished the second half of the season posting a .408 batting average, becoming the first player with at least 200 plate appearances to hit over .400 after the All-Star break since Ichiro Suzuki in 2004, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Votto’s .252/.386/.446 batting line prior to the All-Star break put him in position for the worst season of his career, but a hot second half pushed his season average to .326, well above his career .313 mark.

Despite a horrendous 68-94 record for the Reds this season, Votto managed to drive in the third-most runs (97 RBI) in his career and tied for the second-most home runs (29) he’s collected in a campaign.

Votto remains under contract with Cincinnati through 2024, which will put him in his age-41 season. The contract was the richest in franchise history for the Reds, and he’s proved himself worth it early on. With eight years remaining on the deal, it’s still tough to speculate how well Votto will be playing toward the end of the 10-year contract.

The biggest drawback of age sometimes arrives in the field, but even a slight decline for Votto would keep him at a respectable level of defense for the first base position.

Votto also has one of MLB’s best eyes at the plate, having led the majors in walks four times while posting the highest on-base percentage five times (including in 2016). Likely one of the most unheralded hitters in baseball, he could find himself in Cooperstown one day should he avoid a dramatic drop in play.

The youth movement may have begun in Cincinnati with the shipping of Johnny Cueto to the Royals last season and Jay Bruce to the Mets in 2016, but Votto figures to be a mainstay in the lineup for years to come.

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Joey Votto Injury: Updates on Reds Star’s Face and Return

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was forced to come out of Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals with a facial laceration. 

Continue for updates.

Votto Hit in Face by Throw

Thursday, Sept. 29

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s C. Trent Rosecrans, Votto appeared to get hit by a throw from Cardinals left fielder Tommy Pham that opened up a cut on his chin. 

“He has a big cut and a gash and I think took seven stitches to close on his chin,” Reds manager Bryan Price said after the game, per Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

Votto has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season, overcoming a slow start to be among the league leaders in a variety of offensive categories. His .433 on-base percentage leads the National League.

His performance is especially impressive, given he was flirting with a .200 batting average in late May.

When he is playing well, the four-time All-Star and one-time NL MVP remains one of the best hitters in baseball.

Lance McAlister of ESPN Radio 1530 summed it up well:

He has also generally avoided injury, missing only a handful of games this season, most recently due to a neck issue that forced him to miss one game at the start of September.

This latest injury could potentially cause him to miss more time, although it won’t have much of an impact on the Reds. The NL Central squad has been one of the worst teams in the majors this season and was virtually out of the playoff race by the start of June.

Considering Votto is signed through 2024, the important thing for everyone is keeping him healthy for the long term.

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Joey Votto Injury: Updates on Reds Star’s Neck and Return

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was not in the team’s lineup Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals due to a neck injury, but he has since returned to action.

Continue below for updates:

Votto Returns vs. Cardinals

Saturday, Sept. 3

The Reds announced Votto is batting third and playing first base against St. Louis.

Votto Has Performed Well for Struggling Reds

Votto has been one of the hottest players in the majors despite a miserable start to his 2016 season. Entering the All-Star break, he was hitting just .252, which was on pace for a career-worst mark. 

But since July 15, he’s been red hot, raising his averaging to .309 with 22 home runs and 78 RBI through Friday. ESPN Stats & Info tracked his play through Aug. 23:

Votto has been able to avoid major injuries since he missed 100 games in 2014 with a quadriceps injury.

When healthy, he’s Cincinnati’s most productive bat. Last year was the sixth time in his career that he hit more than 20 home runs and the fourth time he led the league in walks. 

His bat wasn’t enough for a Reds team that was one of the worst in baseball with a 64-98 record in 2015, which was their worst season since a 62-win 1949. This season hasn’t gone much better, as the Reds are 57-77 while sitting 29.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.

There was even more pressure for Votto to produce in 2016 after the Reds dealt Todd Frazier (35 home runs last year) to the Chicago White Sox in the offseason. 

The Reds are already on the wrong side of one of the toughest divisions in baseball, and losing Votto for any amount of time would only have made things worse. Thankfully, they’ll have him back for the stretch run as they try to gain some momentum heading into next season. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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Bloated MLB Contracts Who Can Actually Be Trade Assets This Winter

Without a doubt, Major League Baseball teams hand their players the most ridiculous contracts—in money and length—in all of North American professional sports. 

It is a reason to scoff at cynics who claim baseball is a dying sport, but it is also ammunition for heated debates about just how bad some deals might be, in terms of dollars, duration or both. There are plenty to choose from thanks to owners and front offices willing to pay players greatly for past production while crossing their fingers for some of that production to happen in the future.

While certain players may be grossly and obviously overpaid, and for long periods of time, it does not mean they are bad players. And if some of them are considered in decline, it does not mean they are without value to their current teams or possibly new ones via offseason trade.

That is what this list of players is all about—those with bloated contracts who can still have some decent-to-high value on the trade market. Some of the players seem close to being completely washed up, while others still have the potential to be heavy contributors or even MVP candidates.

Trades for some of them might seem unlikely, but never say never when teams have more than three months of cold weather to negotiate.

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Joey Votto Reaches Base in 48th Straight Game, Ties Pete Rose’s Reds Record

The Cincinnati Reds have endured their fair share of struggles throughout 2015, but Joey Votto‘s superlative campaign has offered the franchise and its fans a reason to remain optimistic as the team’s regular-season slate nears a conclusion.  

Friday, Votto tied Pete Rose’s franchise record by reaching base safely in 48 straight games, thanks to an infield single in the third inning, per the team’s official Twitter account

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s C. Trent Rosecrans, Votto has now reached base safely in 143 of 156 appearances this season. 

Entering Friday night’s showdown with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Votto was batting .317 while posting a league-leading .463 on-base percentage and career-high 142 walks. 

The first baseman’s numbers since the All-Star break have been particularly ridiculous.

Over the season’s second half, Votto’s batting .372, with a .641 slugging percentage and massive 1.188 OPS. He’s also racked up 14 home runs and 37 RBI during that span. Since the Midsummer Classic, Votto’s OPS ranks tops among all NL players with at least 100 at-bats. 

“He’s been terrific,” manager Bryan Price said on Sept. 28, according to the Associated Press (via FoxSports.com). “It’s a huge bounce-back year after missing 100 games last year, and that’s been great to see.”

Shortly before Friday’s contest, Rose and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas engaged in a lengthy debate regarding Votto’s standing among MLB‘s elite hitters, per Fox Sports 1: 

The four-time All-Star will have a chance to extend his streak and shatter Rose’s mark Saturday when the Pirates host the Reds at 7:05 p.m. ET.

And if the slugger’s production over the past few months has been any indication, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he leapfrogs the legend and pens his name atop an esteemed list in the Reds record books.

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Joey Votto Suspended 2 Games: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was ejected from Wednesday night’s 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates following a heated argument with home plate umpire Bill Welke over not being granted a timeout, and MLB took action Friday, condemning the star’s actions.

According to MLB Communications, the league has banned Votto for two games, but he won’t start serving the suspension until his appeal is heard:

Votto has declined to discuss the ejection or the incident following it. This differs from the apology he gave following a May 6 game against Pittsburgh where he made contact with umpire Chris Conroy during a verbal altercation.

“I feel like, as a major league player, I have a responsibility to be a good example for younger players,” Votto said then, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s John Fay. “And making contact with an umpire is unacceptable. During this entire thing, that’s the one thing I feel very remorseful for.”

According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Votto has now been ejected three times this season and seven times over the course of his nine-year career. Sheldon also noted Votto was suspended for one game after bumping into Conroy.

Votto has been on a tear since the All-Star break, batting .392 with 12 home runs, 29 RBI and an on-base percentage of .568. His average and OBP also rank at the top of the big leagues during that span.

And while the Reds are floundering in last place in the National League Central, the team needs Votto in tow to try to offer a silver lining as the season draws to a close.

After snagging an 11-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, Cincinnati will look to keep things rolling Friday and at least snag a split of the four-game set before the weekend starts.

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Joey Votto Goes Nuts on Ump After Being Thrown Out of Game

Tensions ran high at Great American Ball Park when Reds first baseman Joey Votto was ejected in the eighth inning of Cincinnati’s 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Pitcher Tony Watson dealt a called second strike on the outside corner to Votto, who argued umpire Bill Welke’s call on the 1-1 pitch and was ultimately thrown out.

That’s when things escalated. Votto slammed his helmet to the ground and tossed his bat before getting in Welke’s face in a series of events that lasted more than a minute.

Manager Bryan Price was also ejected for arguing the strike call.

Votto struck out twice in three at-bats, and the loss dropped the Reds to 57-81 on the season.


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Ranking Cincinnati Reds’ Best All-Star Game Candidates

The Cincinnati Reds‘ season hasn’t quite gone the way the team and fans had hoped, but even despite having a losing record, the 2015 MLB All-Star Game hosts have several players who have made a strong bid to play in the Midsummer Classic.

No Cincinnati position player is in line to start this year’s All-Star Game. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a deserving candidate, like third baseman Todd Frazier.

Regardless of whether or not the Reds have a starter in the game shouldn’t matter. The team is guaranteed to have at least one player selected to the National League team, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the hosts get three players on the squad.

Keep reading to find out which Reds players have made the best case to represent Cincinnati at the Midsummer Classic.

*All stats are via MLB.com. On Monday, the Reds tweeted out the latest NL voting update.

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Re-Evaluating the Cincinnati Reds’ Top Draft Picks from the Past Decade

It’s what’s on the agenda when a team is eight games under .500 and 11.5 games out of first before June. Because a Reds rebuild seems all but certain with ace Johnny Cueto playing in the final year of his contract, it’s time to assess what’s worked and what’s in store.

What has Walt Jocketty assembled in the last seven seasons, and what did previous general manager Wayne Krivsky leave him with? The following is a list of the Reds’ first-round draft picks from the past decade:


2005: Jay Bruce, OF

Has time snuck up on you too? Jay Bruce was drafted 12th overall that year and was widely considered the future. He was called up to replace Corey Patterson in the early part of 2008 after hitting above .300 across three minor league levels in 2007.

Did he go on to become the Reds’ future? The term’s subjective—after all, it was Bruce’s looping swing that ended the playoff drought and brought the Reds back for the first time in a decade. It’s hard to argue that he became the face of this franchise—Joey Votto or Johnny Cueto may have thoughts on that matter—but there’s no denying he’s contributed in a big way.

His rookie season, he finished No. 5 overall in Rookie of the Year voting, he’s a three-time All-Star with two Silver Slugger awards, and he finished No. 10 in MVP voting two years straight (’12-’13).

He’s a career .250/.323/.486 but has 571 RBI and 189 home runs. In now his eighth year, Bruce has only hit fewer than 20 home runs once—last year, a year that featured arthroscopic knee surgery.

Despite a lengthy slump, there is no denying how prolific Bruce has been to a playoff roster. This was a successful pick by Krivsky. Considering his contract and the Reds’ oncoming fire sale, it’s likely we’ll see the end of the Bruce era here. He’s likely to fetch a good return, especially if his recent hot streak continues.


2006: Drew Stubbs, OF

Believe it or not, Stubbs was the eighth overall pick that year. He ended up debuting with the Reds in 2009 as the Reds were assembling their new product post-Griffey-Dunn Era, ripe with high draft picks.

In a lot of ways, Stubbs contributed—his defense in center was good, and averaging nearly 30 stolen bases and over 12 home runs a season was good. But power aside, Stubbs was not a good hitter. His OBP was never higher than .329; .255 was the highest average he’d have in four years—all of which are very forgettable, especially for a top-10 overall draft pick.

But Walt Jocketty turned Drew Stubbs into Shin-Soo Choo, a pivotal piece of the Reds’ 2013 playoff campaign. And for that, Stubbs proved even more useful.


2007: Devin Mesoraco C, Todd Frazier 3B, Kyle Lotzkar RHP

Can we universally agree the first two names from 2007 are successes? Both made the All-Star Game in 2014, and Frazier was a Home Run Derby for what it’s worth, the first Reds participant since Ken Griffey Jr.

But Frazier is currently No. 2 in NL home runs behind Bryce Harper. His career line in now his fourth season is .258/.328/.461, but there’s no denying the impact he’s had on the Reds offense. He’s had two good batting average years (.273 in ’12 and ’14) and two bad ones (.232 in ’11, .234 in ’13).

He’s one of the only notable acts happening at Great American Ball Park right now. Devin Mesoraco perhaps would be, but he can’t stay healthy. The young slugger has made it to the disabled list again after just 51 plate appearances.

For his career, he’s slashing an unimpressive .242/.313/.423. But Mesoraco has just two years since 2011 where he’s played in over 100 games. He was an All-Star last season, a season that featured a career-high 440 plate appearances.

Kyle Lotzkar came and went. This was a swing and miss of Jonny Gomes caliber. He never made it higher than Double-A, which is where he’s at now, within the Texas Rangers organization.

Thus ends the Krivsky portion of the re-evaluation. Time to see how Walt did.


2008: Yonder Alonso, 1B

Was Yonder Alonso a successful pick? Walt Jocketty turned him and two other first-round draft picks into Mat Latos, the key No. 2 in the rotation that earned the Reds the 2012 NL Central crown. He was also the pitcher who surrendered the deciding Buster Posey grand slam to end that season.

That was Latos’ most important pitch as a Red, but there’s no denying his three exceptional years in a Reds uniform, never finishing with an ERA above 3.48 and tossing over 200 innings twice.


2009: Mike Leake SP, Bradley Boxberger RHP

Despite Mike Leake’s recent struggles, this pick skipped the farm and went right to the pros after being drafted. He’s never been asked to be the ace, and prior to this season, he’s never had to play the role of a No. 2 guy. So his career 55-46 3.97 is a remarkable contribution.

Leake threw over 200 innings for the first time last year. He’s on pace to do it again this season. Should the Reds enter rebuild, Leake is a candidate for trade, but he’s also an extension candidate, especially if and when the Reds move Cueto and free themselves of enormous fiscal responsibility.

Bradley Boxberger was packaged with Alonso and one other to land Latos.

2010: Yasmani Grandal, C

Grandal was also moved in the package for Latos. Devin Mesoraco won the role of Reds future catcher in Cincinnati.


2011: Robert Stephenson, SP 

Baseball America‘s No. 1 Reds prospect and one of the Reds’ only two Top 100 MLB prospects (MLB.com), Stephenson has struggled mightily since reaching Double-A. In now his third Double-A season, the promising right-hander is 9-16 with a 4.87 ERA.

That’s not to say there isn’t serious potential here—there most assuredly is. In 39.1 innings pitched, Stephenson’s recorded 46 strikeouts. That’s serious. The problem is his control. He’s averaging 6.6 walks per nine innings. Command has plagued him since reaching Double-A, after he finished averaging seven walks per nine innings in 2013.


2012: Nick Travieso SP, Jesse Winker OF, Jeff Gelalich OF

Nick Travieso is developing fine as the Reds’ No. 8 prospect. He’s 2-4 with a 3.88 ERA and 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s just in High-A, so it’s unlikely we’ll see him anytime soon.

Jesse Winker is the other Top 100 MLB prospect the Reds are sitting on and the Reds’ No.3 prospect, according to Baseball America. Prior to his wrist injury last season, Winker was killing it. But since reaching Double-A last season, Winker is slashing .225/.341/.333.

That could be just due to a cold start—Winker did impress in the Arizona Fall League (hit .338). Still, there’s no reason to suggest he’s regressing or anything yet, not unless his averages remain like this for the whole season. 

Winker is considered by man to be the heir to Jay Bruce’s throne in left field. 

Jeff Gelalich is now in his fourth minor league season. He’s still hovering around High-A and is only slashing .240/.326/.332. This left-handed hitter is a working project, often displaying flashes of potential, but he lacks consistency. 

2013: Phillip Ervin OF, Michael Lorenzen SP

Ervin bats behind Gelalich for the High-A Daytona Tortugas. It’s the highest level of competition he’s seen, and thus far he is handling it fine, slashing .253/.338/.460 in 202 plate appearances. 

Ervin wasn’t listed as an organizational top prospect, but he’s coming off a poor season in Dayton, where he hit just .238.

Michael Lorenzen, the No. 4 organizational prospect, has been an incredible draft pick so far. Lorenzen was pitching in Double-A last season. He started this year in Triple-A, and following season-ending surgery for Bailey, he’s pitching in The Show and doing it well (1-1, 3.12).

2014: Nick Howard RHP, Alex Blandino SS

A closer in college, the Reds tried converting Howard to a starter, and prior to this season, it was looking like a good move. This season has been brutal for Howard, though, and following a bad stretch where he surrendered 10 earned runs in three starts and never made it out of the fourth inning, he was moved back to the bullpen.

After three scoreless appearances from the bullpen, Howard’s been roughed up. He’s sporting a 7.03 ERA and a WHIP over 2.00.

Alex Blandino, however, is performing well in the same lineup as Ervin and Gelalich. He’s slashing .319/.405/.448. Numbers like this make him an enticing heir to Zack Cozart’s throne.

Krisky’s last picks, minus Lotzkar, were all good. The jury is still out on Jocketty’s 12 picks. Three of the 12 became Latos, who ultimately became Anthony DeSclafani, so hard to knock those. Two of the 12 are currently in the Reds starting rotation. The other seven are in development, but none of them above Double-A.

Still, from a pitching stance, the pipeline seems stocked with future contributors, provided they make it.

Stats courtesy of Baseball-reference.com unless noted otherwise. Organizational rankings compliments of BaseballAmerica.com while Top-100 prospects come from MLB.com.

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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for April 20

Around the country, it’s starting to feel like baseball season as MLB teams begin rounding into form. Daily fantasy players can finally see trends beginning at the plate and on the mound in DraftKings leagues.

Heading into Monday night, owners have to pick through myriad lineups to find the best players in every matchup. Prior to the long slate of games getting underway, here’s a look at the top studs and duds for April 20.



Pitcher: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians ($7,100)

Looking for a starting pitcher at a low price who produces a lot of strikeouts and doesn’t give up many hits or earned runs? Seems impossible, right? Wrong. Trevor Bauer is all of those things and goes against a familiar lineup on Monday night.

The third overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 MLB draft is now lighting it up for the Cleveland Indians. Bauer Outage got off to a historically great start, as Fox Sports: MLB notes:

In his third start of the season, Bauer faces the most recent team he victimized in the Chicago White Sox. The 24-year-old pitcher allowed just two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts over six innings. Look for similar numbers against the lowly White Sox and potentially his third win of the season.


First Baseman: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds ($5,200)

This one kind of feels like cheating.

In fantasy baseball, every daily owner wants consistency out of his or her lineup. By placing Joey Votto in said lineup, players will get one of the most solid batters at the plate on any given night.

On Monday, Votto matches up with Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers. Peralta has already had his struggles this season—we’ll get to that later—and Votto has typically fared well against the right-hander. With a .409 on-base percentage against Peralta, Votto will post another solid game on Monday.


Outfielder: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($4,900)

It appears Nelson Cruz is enjoying the Pacific Northwest. The veteran slugger has thrived thus far with the Seattle Mariners to start the season.

Over his last eight games, Cruz has put together several ridiculous stat lines along with his eight home runs. His multihomer game on Sunday gave Cruz the lead in the entire MLB, as Mariners’ play-by-play announcer Gary Hill notes:

Not to mention Cruz will also be facing a rookie pitcher in Asher Wojciechowski. Roll out the welcoming mat for the 26-year-old pitcher before Cruz lifts off again for fantasy owners in his next start.



Pitcher: Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers ($7,000)

The aforementioned Peralta has not been able to build off a strong 2014 season thus far. After winning 17 games last year and boasting a 3.53 ERA, Peralta has been shelled this season. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives an in-depth look at Peralta’s most recent horrid outing:

With the Brewers scuffling at 2-10 to start the year, banking on Peralta doesn’t seem like the best decision. Even against a Reds offense that hasn’t been clicking recently, don’t rely on this starter until he shows consistency on the mound.


Catcher: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals ($4,400)

Don’t start Salvador Perez on Monday night. Yes, the same Salvador Perez who has gotten off to a blazing-hot start this season.

During his career, Perez has struggled against Kyle Gibson, the Minnesota Twins starter on Monday. Perez has just one hit over 12 plate appearances against Gibson with four strikeouts and one walk. He may be going through a career year so far, but Perez will cool down against Gibson.


Outfielder: Brandon Moss, Cleveland Indians ($4,700)

Brandon Moss finally seems to have gotten his act together for the Indians, but Monday night will not bring more of the same.

Cleveland’s offseason acquisition is going up against John Danks, a left-handed pitcher. Taking into account his early struggles and the fact that he’s a lefty facing a lefty, stay away from putting Moss in the lineup until he completely settles in with the Indians.

Daily fantasy baseball is going strong at DraftKings! Get FREE entry into a $10,000 MLB contest today.

Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter for more MLB DraftKings advice.

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