Joey Votto went from playing 162 games in 2013 to playing just 62 last year. When he did play, his performance was hampered as reflected in his OPS dropping from .926 to .799. How did that loss of playing time and offense hurt the Reds 2014 run production?
The Reds scored 595 runs in 2014 for an average of 3.67 runs per game (R/G.) Their offense ranked 28th in MLB and 13th in the National League in runs scored. For reference, the 2014 NL average was 640 runs per team or 3.95 R/G.
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s look at a simple swap of the Reds offense from the #3 spot in the batting order with Joey VottoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2013 season. For this type of analysis, I use Baseball Musing Lineup Analysis tool for the Reds scoring estimate. Plugging in the Reds actual OBP and SLG splits for each spot in the batting order gives us a baseline estimate of 581.6 runs or 3.59 R/G.
Using that as a starting point,
–The Reds #3 hitters combined for a .313 OBP and .383 SLG last year.
–The Reds lineup with the NL average #3 hitter (.357/.461) would have scored an estimated 608.8 runs or 27.2 more runs.
–The Reds lineup with 2013 Joey Votto (.435/.491 for 162 games) would have scored 636 runs or +54.4 runs.
An additional 54 runs would have elevated the Reds run scoring output to just above the league average and between Milwaukee and Miami for 7th best in the National League. These estimates donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t account for Votto now batting 2nd instead of 3rd, which actually improves expected runs per game. Nor do they account for VottoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s additional plate appearances meaning less plate appearances for Pena, Hannahan, Lutz, Soto, etc.
If VottoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s power is really back in full swing as it was prior to 2013, then the ceiling is even higher for this offense.