On Thursday night the Cincinnati Reds won both games of their double header in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Notably absent from both games was Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto. While Votto has been struggling for much of the season, which in the grand scheme of things is not much time, much of the offense has been struggling of late. But for David Bell, it was Votto who got the day off entirely.
“We talked and at some point in the next couple of days he’s going to be back in there and get right back into the lineup and contribute. He’s part of our best team, he’s part of our best lineup. It’s day-to-day as far as the decisions we’re making,” said Bell. “But I did want to give him a couple of games to just kind of get right. I know he needs to play to get right, but I just thought it was good to give it a couple of days and get him back into the lineup.”
The first four games of the year saw Joey Votto crushing the ball. He homered in each of the first two games of the year and has hitting .389/.450/.722 through his first 20 plate appearances. Since then, though, it’s been a tough go of things for Votto. He’s played in 21 games since that point and hit just .141/.291/.225. He had gone five consecutive games without a hit, and on Tuesday night he went 0-4 and struck out all four times he stepped to the plate. It was only the second time in the last decade that he had struck out four times in a game, and just the fifth time in his entire career.
“He’s physically fine,” Bell said Thursday after the double header sweep. “I just felt like I had to trust what I’m seeing. He plays every single day, he’s used to playing every single day. I just felt like this time I had to trust what I was seeing and that was to give him a couple free days to kind of settle back in and then get him back in the lineup.”
The Reds didn’t play on Wednesday. And Joey Votto didn’t play on Thursday – so he’s been off for two days in a row. Manager David Bell wasn’t very specific on exactly how long “a couple free days” was. He did note, however, that he was going to be a day-to-day decision. It doesn’t seem likely that Votto is going to be out for a long time, but it may also be more than just one day of not playing games, too.