The Cincinnati Reds have sent first baseman Joey Votto on a rehab assignment to Triple-A Louisville where he’ll spend some time with the Bats. Votto last played in a game on May 1st. He was then placed on the COVID injury list and has missed nearly the last two weeks.

While Joey Votto has been in a slump the entire season, he was really in one right before he went on the injured list. From April 23rd through May 1st he had one hit in 26 at-bats. He did walk seven times in that span, and was hit by a pitch, giving him a .265 on-base percentage in that time frame, but it was a brutal stretch that followed an already poor start to the season in the first two weeks. Through 22 games this year, Votto is hitting .122/.278/.135 with just one extra-base hit – a double – and he’s struck out 29 times in just 90 plate appearances.

C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic spoke with Votto towards the end of April about how he had gone back to his old bat, dropping the new bat he had been using since the start of spring training that had a “hockey puck” on the bottom instead of a normal knob. Votto noted that, “It didn’t feel whippy, snappy. It felt like at moments it just took longer to deliver the barrel to the spot I wanted to get to. It’s hard to describe.”

There wasn’t much time between the switching back to the old bat and his arriving on the injured list. Perhaps some of his struggles were related to the bat. Of course, he used that same bat in spring training and hit the ball quite well. Spring training isn’t the regular season and you don’t face the same pitchers, and even when you do, you aren’t usually seeing the same exact stuff. Still, until he gets out there and starts hitting again, we won’t really know.

Getting back to the new bat and facing Triple-A pitching after having nearly two weeks off, Joey Votto should be able to work on some things and get in tune with the “new, old” bat. That may just be a part of it, though. Votto, always known to be tweaking and changing things when they aren’t going the way he wants, may need to do some of that, too. His strikeout rate is way up this season, and his power is entirely non-existent. Finding a way to get the bat on the ball more, and to strike it with more authority will be paramount for the Reds first baseman.

21 Responses

  1. Roger Garrett

    Never count Joey out but some things you can’t change.Personally I feel he just has a hard time dealing with the current state of the team more then a 95 mph pitch.Guy knows as do we it will be bad in Cincy.

    • Jim t

      State of the team would improve if Joey plays back to his Stats from last year. You may be reaching just a bit in trying to justify his bad start. He has always been a slow starter.

  2. Rut

    So did Votto have Covid or not???

    Kind of odd that he was out that long with the “flu”; also odd that Votto alone (out if a whole team) would actually get Covid and be ill enough to miss 2 plus weeks from it…

    • Doc

      True influenza, not the milder stuff most people generically upgrade by calling it the flu, is a nasty illness. My rule of thumb in practice was that however long the patient was knocked down by the acute illness, typically 4-7 days, it will take twice that long to fully recover strength, ie, another 8-14 days on top of the 4-7 day acute stage. So it is not at all odd that he would be out this long due to influenza.

  3. William

    I have said from the beginning that the Reds were going to play better. It is in my old posts. The team is already playing better. Joey Votto is going to play better. Nick Senzel is going to play better, if he can stay on the field. India will be back, and he is a star. Stephenson has star potential. Very impresses with him. I do not see a playoff team here, but never give up on the Reds. The Reds have a proud history. They just need new owners.

    • Brayan O'Malley

      They’re beating up on the Pirates. Just sayin’

  4. RedBB

    No need to rush back Joey…..take your time. However long it takes…

  5. Jim Walker

    Hope Joey V is ready to make a game appearance in his natural hometown, Toronto, next weekend.

  6. Jim t

    I hope Joey gets back on the field but his performance really needs to improve. He has been beyond bad so far this year.

    • MK

      I just hate breaking up what is winning. If that means no #19 then so be it. Do I think the back of Moran’s baseball card can match the back of Votto’s, absolutely not but I wonder what the back of the 2023 version will say about 2022.

      • Hanawi

        Good lord. Moran is hitting .216 with an OBP below .300. The love that Reds fans have for mediocre utility players knows no bounds.

  7. Larry Alford

    No one really understands why some slumps happen. Physical or mental, we have to be patient. Don’t give up.

  8. LDS

    I’d leave him in AAA until he’s hitting .300+ against those guys. If he can’t, it may be time to cash in the chips. I’m not a Moran fan but JV has a long way to go before he’s competitive with Moran. JV has 1 more AB thus far this year and trails him in every statistical category except walks. Moran has a .4 WAR while JV has the lowest WAR on the team at -0.9. It’s not the way for JV to end his career but sadly many athletes do end their careers in steep decline.

    • greenmtred

      Yes, but this is a small sample size, and last year, at the age of 38, Joey had a better year than Moran has ever had. He may be all done, but I would never count him out until he counts himself out.

      • LDS

        Yes, a great year against RH but mediocre against LH. This year I think he has Suarez disease.

      • greenmtred

        Yes, he doesn’t hit left handers very well, but most hitters have handedness splits. His overall year was terrific.

  9. kevinz

    Always a slow starter.
    Wonder if team playing better atm.
    Would help him relax play better.
    Similar to last season.

  10. MK

    Not sure Senzel has proven to be better than Almora. Like Senzel, Almora was a high first round draft pick, plays just as strong of defense, at this point is hitting better and has a history of being to stay on the field.