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.

Let’s look at a simple swap of the Reds offense from the #3 spot in the batting order with Joey Votto’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 don’t account for Votto now batting 2nd instead of 3rd, which actually improves expected runs per game. Nor do they account for Votto’s additional plate appearances meaning less plate appearances for Pena, Hannahan, Lutz, Soto, etc.

If Votto’s power is really back in full swing as it was prior to 2013, then the ceiling is even higher for this offense.

6 Responses

  1. gaffer

    Votto looks as good as 2010. The one thing is that he will now get pitched around more since people know this so his power will decline and walks go up. We need Frazier and Mes to hit (and Byrd for gods sake too) but hitting with Billy and Votto on will make them look like Jeff Kent hitting behind bonds. If anyone thinks that Votto is not worth the money just look at last year.

    With an average ‘pen this team would be 7-1.

    • Robby20

      The Reds don’t have an average pen and won’t this year.

  2. PDunc

    If we continue to see this Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto in the #1 and #2 spots all season, some order of Frazier, Bruce, and Mesoraco should have plenty of RBI opportunities from the #3-#5 spots.

  3. Robby20

    Walt Jocketty failed long before Gregg stayed on the roster tonight. The fact Gregg made the team out of spring training is the biggest indictment of the job being done by Jocketty. Embarrassing is the word I would use to describe the job done to address the Reds biggest weakness last year, the bullpen.

    A healthy Votto can’t make up for the putrid bullpen, weakened starting rotation and weaker bench.

    And oh how about that answer in left field?

  4. VaRedsFan

    How about if other teams try to get into the Reds bullpen early? 🙂