The 2022 season is officially over for Cincinnati Reds 1st baseman Joey Votto. Following the team’s 1-0 walk-off victory of the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, Votto announced that he would undergo shoulder surgery for a rotator cuff tear on Friday and that it will end his season – first reported by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Votto was out of the lineup on Wednesday, though with a left-handed starter on the mound and an off day on Thursday, it seemed reasonable to simply view it as a normal day off. And pre-game manager David Bell said just that, according to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The injury certainly could help explain the slump that Joey Votto has been in. While father time can explain some of what’s happened this year overall, in the last ten days, Votto was 2-36 with both of those hits coming in the same game. His OPS dropped nearly 60 points during that run and his season will now end with him hitting .205/.319/.370 on the season. His 85 OPS+ is the worst of his career and only the second time he’s ever been below league average at the plate (2019 when he had a 95 OPS+ was the other season).

The injury has been something that’s been lingering for Votto, though.

“I injured it back in 2015 and I’ve been able to play through it,” said Votto after the game. “Only in the past maybe 3-4 months or so has it been painful to the point where it’s difficult to lift, hurts to sleep. I’m not sure if it’s effected my performance, I can’t say that. I don’t want to make an excuse, but surgery is necessary and I plan on getting it done on Friday. I’ve been told it’s about a 6-month rehab. I’ve been trying to play through it for a while now, but yeah.”

“I got an MRI about 10 days ago after our road trip, first day back. And for me to take the step to get an MRI, played through lots of different stuff, and I was motivated to get an MRI because of the pain, the interruption of sleep, it was difficult to lift my arm and it didn’t surprise me, the result, but the feedback I received that I should get surgery surprised me. I tried to strength train it and it didn’t work.”

“There was a throw up the line and I got caught with a base runner (in 2015). I played well. It bothered me for a bit afterwards, but the pain subsided and the strength returned and I was able to manage. But then a doctor informed that with these injuries at some point you hit a breaking point and you are not able to manage it quite as well. And that’s the way I’ve felt over the last several months. I’ve noticed it effected my hand, my arm in general. Truly I’ve been playing, I’ve noticed it a long time in my work. You’re used to playing through stuff like that, you just assume it will pass.”

With his season now being over, he can look forward to recovering and getting ready for 2023. The rehab process for position players having surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff if generally a 6-month process. That would put Votto on track to return for a full spring training if things go as expected. Next year is technically his final season under contract. There is a team option for the 2024 season. If Cincinnati picks it up it would cost them $20,000,000. But if they decline the option the buy out is $7,000,000. That leaves the decision to realistically be over $13,000,000 to have Votto around in 2024 or to not have him around in 2024 at the age of 40.

142 Responses

  1. G-man

    I will miss seeing him in the lineup the rest of the season! Hope he recovers quickly and that he defies Father Time, so that we can see one more solid season from him next year to cap off an unbelievable career!

  2. Indy Red Man

    I saw the highlights (or lowlights) where Joey made 5 outs on 4 pitches the other night. He actually squared up those balls, but just has no juice at this point. Joey in his prime has atleast a Hr and a double there. Maybe he can get healthy and finish up his Reds career with a better year.

    • Jim Walker

      Yeah, the 9th inning looping line out to mid distance LCF on Tuesday brought this same thought to my mind. He looked like the “real” vintage Votto on that swing and the ball initially looked strong off the bat but had no carry. In his heyday that ball with the same swing and connection is up the gap and by the CF whether or not it was high enough to carry to the wall.\.

  3. Mark Moore

    UGH! This really stinks.

    It also begins to explain a few things. Father Time is still undefeated. Hoping they can clean it up and he can at least get one last hurrah for us in 2023. Also hoping they decide 3M’s sunk costs are worth dumping in the offseason.

  4. Melvin

    He said he injured it in 2015. Maybe it’s been bothering him off and on for years and finally had got to the point he couldn’t do it anymore since it wasn’t getting any better and is in too much pain. I never count Votto out. He could very well come back healthy next year and be very good again. He didn’t say but from the description he have when it happened it was most likely on his glove hand which if so could make it not only tough to swing but also catch and scoop at times at 1B.

  5. indyDoug

    Well at least he won’t bat clean-up anymore this year. I kid I kid! Tough break for Votto.

  6. JB

    Bring up someone like Cedrola or Santana. Not Moran and I don’t want to see Reynolds playing first. It’s sorting time.

    • LDS

      I agree completely. I lean Cedrola. But anyone but Moran. Yes, he’s hitting well right now but he is not part of the future

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        The team doesn’t need another 5th outfielder.

        Bring up Spencer Steer or Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

      • LDS

        Steer works as well. Though I’d be interested to see Cedrola over any of the Reds current OFs, including Senzel. May not work out but now is the time to start figuring that out.

    • SultanofSwaff

      I’d love to see Steer and Encarnacion-Strand. Give me a reason to turn on the tv in september.

    • Jim Walker

      Keep an eye on the Bats lineup tonight and tomorrow for clues. It could be as simple as Friedl sticks when Solano returns from paternity leave. Key factors will be what is going on with Senzel’s hamstring and whether India can play every day.

      • David

        India may end up playing first the rest of the season, with Solano or Lopez playing second.

        I would really like for them to bring up Steer, but….it’s the Reds. That ain’t gonna happen. Bell wants to play his veterans for the winning attitude.
        Maybe Colin Moran, who nobody wants to see.

  7. Frankie Tomatoes

    This really stinks for Joey. It does help explain a lot of what we have been seeing. Lets hope that the surgery and rehab goes good and he returns next season and looks closer to his former self.

  8. SultanofSwaff

    Reasonable explanation by Votto. Hard to not see how it would negatively affect his performance. When you can’t train at the level required to do your job, there will be downstream effects…such as his diminished power. Hopefully he can rebound and finish his tenure with dignity.

  9. LT

    This really sucks. I thought this misery ends in 2023, but there is a 2024 option? SMH. Death by a thousand cuts.

    • Hanawi

      The unwillingness of this site to deal with obvious troll accounts like this one make it more and more difficult to visit and try to discuss the team.

      • LT

        What makes you think it’s a troll acct? It’s a site for all members to express their opinions right? At the beginning of the season one of the writers wrote that VOtto looked to have a great season. Was that an opinion or a joke or a troll?

      • Doug Gray

        It’s a full time job to moderate comments. So the choice is to either allow comments and have plenty of bad opinions come in, or turn off comments and then probably have the site cease to exist because traffic slows down in a big way because people stop coming to discuss things in droves.

      • SteveAreno

        Hanawi, this is pretty mild compared to so many other comments with negative opinions. It’s part of any board. With this season, there will be many negative comments due to the disappointments. You can glance over them and ignore them if you want or offer an alternative opinion with REPLY. In this case, you could reply it’s just a death of 500 cuts.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Get a life. Joey is a great player and a team player. Rotator cuff injuries take time to come to the fore, I messed up my shoulder in high school and it took many years before I had surgery.

  10. Kevin H

    This explains his performance in my opinion. I do like what he said about not making excuses. He is still a elite HOF in my book. Get well soon Votto!! Come back better next season!!

  11. MBS

    The best 2 1B options are in AA, so it’s probably going to be a non 1B, like Steer, he was probably going to get a call up soon anyway. I’m going to cross my fingers for McGarry, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • Bill

      Non 1B doesn’t really mean much. It is probably the position that requires the least athletic ability. There is a reason you don’t see a ton of 1B prospects in the system, anyone can be moved there when Votto retires

    • Chris

      Bring up Steer, put him at 3rd and move Farmer to 1st. Not that hard.

  12. MK

    100% by Spring Training is really pushing it. I had rotator cuff surgery on an extensive tear and tendon rupture. I was in a sling for 6 weeks before beginning therapy. About 5 months of therapy followed but the doctor told me that any surgery like this takes about 12 months to heal completely, and that precautions are necessary as second surgeries are typically not successful.

    • Bill

      Shoulder surgeries do take forever to heal. I think that is the reason Suarez struggled so much in 20/21. Mine has never been right after two labrum repairs, but I also don’t have access to the quality of care Votto does

    • Ryan

      Much will depend upon how many of the four cuff muscles are torn, as well as underlying arthritis. No question he’ll have the best physical therapists available

      • SteveAreno

        I hope the PT staff is from Mount Saint Joseph University to get the best!

    • DaveCT

      I had one shoulder done and need the other one done, too. There’s no way I’m going through that again.

      • scolty50

        I have had both of mine done. There is absolutely nothing good to say about the surgery or rehab.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Boy do I agree, after having my right one done I will wait til my left arm is about to fall off to have it done, and I had a fairly speedy recovery on my right!

      • MK

        Dave I heard those horror stories but I took pain pills for a day and that was it. Finding a comfortable way to sleep was the toughest part.

    • David

      Probably true. Joey’s at bats last night may be the last we ever see of him. I think that is very sad. A great player going out like that.

      He will work hard at physical therapy, because….he’s just a grinder. He has never shied away from hard work.
      But depending on how serious this labrum tear is, and how extensive the surgery, he may not recover to play baseball again. He will be 39 on September 10th, 2022.

    • Redsvol

      I agree MK. This should have been dealt with before now. Rotator cuff surgery for an athlete is a big deal. It’s only 6 months to spring training. It’s almost like reds were trying to get him to some career milestone first instead of getting this taken care of earlier.

      Explains a lot. Joeys been a great Red. But just more proof that you don’t sign players to long contracts that take them beyond their age 35 season.

  13. Oldtimer

    I hope he recovers and plays somewhere near Joey Votto level again.

    Most Reds stars in my lifetime (born 1951) did not perform to their expected level at age 40. Pete Rose did for Phillies in 1981. Barry Larkin (sort of did) for Reds in 2004.

    Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster, Joe Morgan, Eric Davis, and Dave Concepcion (to name a few) did not produce at their expected level, or did not play to age 40.

    • SteveAreno

      Perhaps the medical science and physical therapy is better now than in the old times and he can get back in it for us and him! From the sounds of the number of shoulder injuries on this board, Doug Gray can make a fortune by sponsoring rehab classes. 🙂

  14. Jeff Morris

    Yet…..ANOTHER INJURY for the Reds this year. Hopefully the surgery goes well for Votto, and he is ready to play next year.

    • Doc

      Technically this was an injury 6 years ago, not this year.

      He has struggled for several years to hit more than .200 in the first month or two. Maybe the shoulder was the cause.

  15. Klugo

    He deserves to hit the eject button.

  16. Eric the Red

    I love Votto. I appreciate his desire to compete. But given what he’s described, I wish he had surrendered a couple of months ago so he’d be further long in his recovery before the start of next season.

    • Bdh

      Field of dreams game meant too much to him. I guarantee he had that date circled as one he wouldn’t miss for anything

      • LT

        So he put personal goal above team goal? That’s one of many problems I had with Votto.

      • ChrisInVenice

        Votto was the star of the Field of Dreams game. Assume everyone from MLB to FOX to Reds to Joey wanted him to play.

      • Earmbrister

        LT, didn’t you use to go by the name Thom?

        In any case, it sounds like a personal problem. It’s a shame that the future Hall of Famer hasn’t lived up to your lofty standards.

  17. DaveCT

    So, prospective 1B on the 40-man: Moose (IL), Solano, Schrock,

    Not on the 40-man: Moran, McGarry, Incarnation-Strand.

    Seems to be a lock we’ll see a committee of 40-man guys. If, and it’s a definite if, they go developmental, Moran is out, but both McGarry and E-S are college guys who might be able to make the jump to the ML’s as a more ’emergency replacement’ thing. for Aug and Sept.

    Or a combination of both, committee now, development later.

    • Jim Walker

      I’d guess Schrock already has one foot on the 60 day IL. Obviously, Joey himself represents one 40 man roster opening but Schrock is probably the 2nd one if they choose to elevate more than one before the end of the season

      • DaveCT

        Thanks, I took a quick look at the roster and he wasn’t listed as injured even though my brain recalled that he was.

      • David

        The magical 40 man roster.

        I kind of doubt that the Reds, being last place and all, would risk outrighting one of their talented veterans to bring up Steer, McGarry or Encarncion-Strand. That would be just SO out of the box thinking.

        These young guys have to EARN a right to ride the bench and watch older, less talented players play for a LAST PLACE team … Spring Training. And MAYBE, after they have ridden the bench for two months, they might get a chance to play. Or…..maybe not.

      • David

        Per the Louisville Riverbats website, Max Schrock is on the 60 day IL right now.

        I don’t know if there are any rules pertaining to outrighting a player off the 40 man roster while they are in the IL. I think that is forbidden, but I could easily be wrong.

      • greenmtred

        I wonder whether it’s really as simple as calling up young guys and playing them. I expect that there are developmental stages for players, skills they have to master and, just maybe, putting a kid who isn’t ready in the starting lineup of the MLB team, would be detrimental to his ultimate success. Presumably the managers and coaches in the minors are giving the Reds input about the readiness of the prospects.

    • TR

      Drury would be a good fit at first base but….

      • Redsvol

        Ha! I was thinking the same thing TR. Boy I miss that guy. He could play like 6 positions with good defense and great offense. And he hasn’t slowed down in San Diego so it wasn’t all the great American ballpark phenomena.

      • MBS

        I really wanted them to sign Drury for a 3 year extension. Now if they did want him, they’d be competing on the open market. I’m guessing that ain’t going to happen. We should however extend Solano for a year or 2 if we can.

  18. Steve Schoenbaechler

    As much as I admire Votto and everything he has done, the best thing for the club would be for him to retire. For the haters, I specified “the best thing for the club”. I didn’t say nor imply “He should retire”.

    Votto’s contract is a bad contract right now; same with Moose, also (I believe the best thing for the club would be for him to probably retire as well, all the same reasons). The club is possibly waiting for them to move on till they take their final steps on a rebuild.

    Do I think Votto will leave $25 million on the table? No. But, the best thing for the club would be for him to retire, I believe

    For some points to make, Votto is under contract for next season. According to mlbtraderumors, the club has an option on him for the 2024 season.

    With rehab, Votto should be ready by ST.

    • Jim Walker

      I am not a mlb agent or contract law attorney but my guess is any possibility of money being “left on the table” ended with the club’s acquiescence to him going on the IL and having the surgery. Any “retirement” at this point it seems to me is going to be a medical injury influenced retirement as long as he pursues rehab and reports to camp or until he receives medical advice to abandon the process.

      His salary for 2023 is $25m. The option buyout on 2024 is $7m against a $20m salary for 2024. As Doug said in the post text, it is basically a $13m decision the club will be looking at for 2024 because that is the difference between the 2024 salary and the buyout to be off the hook for the salary.

      • Melvin

        I think if he comes back next year hitting .300/.400/.600 with 40 HR and 100 RBI cheapo weapo Big Bob and Son probably still won’t bring him back. lol

      • Old-school

        I hate to see it but I think this gives the Reds cover to aggressively market 2023 as Joey Votto’s final season as a Red and gives them opportunity to tell him upfront we are buying your $7 million option out for 2024. Let’s work together on 2023 to make it the best it can be an thats also the right move.

      • Melvin

        That will just make them look even more stupid if he does have a really good year.

      • Old-school

        Since 2018, Joey Votto has 1 season with a WAR over 1. He’s coming back in 2023 from late season shoulder surgery in his age 40 season to bust out with a 4 WAR season to be a bargain at age 41 at $20 million?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        For Melvin, $100 he doesn’t.

      • Melvin

        hahaha Don’t tempt me. I might go help him with his rehab myself if I do that.

      • MK

        Melvin I wish my cheap box spent 25 million on me.

      • Old-school

        Reds packaged winker to get Suarez 2024 contract off the books. It makes no sense to make all the trades of veterans in 2022 that are still controlled in 2023 – Gray/Mahle/Castillo/Winker- with Suarez still controlled in 2024- to then keep Votto in 2024 at age 41 and making 20 Million. They would have kept all those guys and Suarez too. Joey Votto’s last season is 2023 in a Reds uniform.

        This is a rebuild folks.

  19. William

    This injury was probably a big factor in his performance. I wish I had known about this previously, and I would not have been so critical of his performance this year.

  20. Soto

    Like many have stated I too thought many balls that he hit lately were going to be extra base hits only to end up being lazy fly balls. This injury explains a lot. I for one will never count out Mr. Votto. I’ve been a die hard fan since the early 70s. He is easily a top 5 hitter in Reds history. I hope he has one last go around as a Reds great. I would love to see him and someone like Solano rotate as the DH next year. If healthy I think Votto could have a great year if he only faced right-hand pitching.

  21. Broseph

    Spring training / Opening Day seems optimistic. Good surgery, therapy and genetics, he’s probably best served waiting until May when it’s warmer and he’s closer to full strength. No reason to push April with a weaker arm and cold weather. Get 100% and give it one more go summer of 2023.

  22. Doc

    Interesting look at Votto’s past 7 years. He said he got hurt in 2015. The next two years he still hit for an excellent .300+ average. However, his average dropped 36 points in 2018, another 20 points in 2019, another 35 points in 2020, rebounded about 40 points in 2021 and now has dropped another 60+ points in 2022. In my book, if he knew that his shoulder was injured he should have had it imaged at that point in time, at which time a decision and a plan could have been put together.

    Instead we have seen a great hitter get off to successively slow starts and getting slower, with a BA that has declined some 120 points in the past 5 years. Those slow starts were not the only cause, of course, but they certainly contributed to the Reds floundering early in those seasons.

    Whether he retires or not due to this injury is not my call, but knowing that he had an injury in 2015 and apparently did nothing about it to the detriment of his performance and the team’s performance, takes some of the luster off of his legacy in my opinion, and it is only my opinion, not an attempt at a statement of fact. Had this been repaired in 2017-18 time frame, perhaps we would have been watching vintage JV these past four seasons and clamoring for the Reds to pick up the 2024 option instead of reminiscing about years gone by, and alleging declining skills, and clamoring for his retirement at the end of 2022.

    • Jim Walker

      Is it possible the surgical recovery prognosis he received in 2015 or at some later date was unfavorable to a point he decided to just soldier on as long as he could tolerate it and still perform to his personal standard?

      • Doc

        Certainly possible, Jim, if he had it evaluated in 2015. But then why not do something about it in 2018, or 2019, or 2020, or 2021? All those were declining years.

      • Jim Walker

        @Doc, No surgery later b/c he still wasn’t ready to quit and was still right at or better than league average in OPS+. And looking around the clubhouse, who was going to take his spot and do better?

        Quite possibly his willingness to keep quiet and stay in Cincy as the “rebuild” floundered and went nowhere might have been driven by his private knowledge and battle which he realized was becoming a losing proposition.

      • LT

        Not bc of his hitting or lack thereof, rather bc imo he’s a coward drama queen.

    • LT

      Thank you for digging up the stats. He said with a straight face that this is not an excuse but to me it’s a big fat excuse for what he’s going through this year. An injury happened 7 years ago? Give me a break. Such a convenient time to announce a mysterious injury. Can’t he just take the money and go? I don’t have any problem with that. Just all the drama surrounding him is what drives me nuts.

    • VaRedsFan

      @ Doc – While the injury could have been detrimental to his poor performances, I think his decline was more approach based.

      He absolutely banged in 2017. (2nd in MVP…shoul have won)…this was year 2 after the injury.

      2018 rolled around and he abandoned everything he did in 2017, by going to a deep crouch…extreme choke up on the bat…inside out approach, even on down and in pitches….all of the god-awful check swings. He emerged from that late in the season, to get back to respectability.

      2019 – He came back again with the same crouch, choke up, ect crap. Again he canned that approach and started to hit again, as if it was some magic dust.

      2021 – 6 years removed from the injury – banged out 36 HR and had OPS over 900.

      2022 – most evidence of injury and father time.

      Up until this year, he declined when he chose to go away with things that worked the best.

  23. Votto4life

    no doubt good news to some here. Now, we will get to see all those young, talented first basemen that Joey has been holding back all summer.

    • MK

      I think the problem is they have not made a plan to replace Him.

  24. Old-school

    Sorry to hear for joey. Clearly he wasnt right.
    Senzel had his shoulder injury similar time in 2019, albeit different shoulders and ages and injuries. Senzel was cleared to throw in january but then Covid hit so we dont know what he could have done by Opening Day. I wish Joey a speedy recovery. It does seem common sense would say even if things go perfect….play more DH, rest more in 2023. Also interesting to see Reds strategies for 1b and DH as back plans. Moose is plan A. Get your season tickets now.

  25. Still a Red

    It seems like this is something that could have been diagnosed a couple months ago. I believe its possible to have lived with this for 7 years with proper muscle strengthening and other strategies, but also I could see how sleeping on it the wrong way or a funky swing and miss could easily aggravate it to the point he’s at now. Can he make it back? I certainly hope that he can have one more good season.

  26. Optimist

    The tough decision will be releasing Moose, whenever they do so – likely purely a financial decision, which means it may drag into next year.

    Joey’s recovery is the easy decision – 1 – it frees up a spot on the 40-man for quite some time (I’ll be amazed if he’s really ready in 6 months). His contract is in no jeopardy, and unless he over-performs when he returns, the buyout for 2024 is also an easy decision. He should have the second half next year to determine if there’s anything left there.

    IIRC he had a call with Matt Carpenter about just this issue, and look what Carpenter was doing until a wholly non-age related injury sidelined him.

    Still, a fairly lengthy recovery.

    • Jim Walker

      Here’s guessing that with JV’s status for 2023 up in the air, they are going to hold on to Moose as 1B material for 2023 unless somebody makes them an offer too good to refuse in the off season (how much of the $22m sunken cost for 2023 plus the ’24 buyout is that??).

      Actually the last cycle of Moose at 1B got me to thinking he wouldn’t be a disaster there IF he could stay healthy and hit a little bit. Maybe they are hustling him back right now to give that a test?

  27. Greenfield Red

    For those who think JV is the greatest hitter to ever play for the Reds, it should be pointed out that it is now likely that JV will finish his career with less than half the hits of PR.

    I’ll take Pete.

    • Doug Gray

      Joey Votto is without question a better hitter. Pete was able to stay healthier, play longer, and many years didn’t walk often (compared to Votto) and racked up tons of hits. The quality of the hits matter. I’ll take Joey and his 8 years with an OPS+ of 155 or better over Pete and his 1 season of an OPS+ of 155 or better.

      • LDS

        I don’t think there’s any question that Votto was much more physically talented. I would suggest that he lacked Rose’s intensity and drive to win, leadership if you will. If Rose had had Votto’s physical gifts, he’d likely have had even more hits. Without the benefit of hindsight, i.e., how each of their careers turned out, most teams would draft Votto ahead of Rose today simply based on their “tools”. One key thing though, statistically comparing OPS+ over 40-50 years is generally not apples & apples. The parks were constructed differently, fewer teams likely contributed to higher average performance, etc.

      • Votto4life

        I agree Doug. Pete Rose would have never passed Cobb had he not been able to pencil his own name is the line up his last few years.

        The people who have been bashing Joey here all summer (who are now wishing him a speedy recovery) would have had a field day with Rose his last couple of seasons. A first baseman, out of shape, singles hitter with absolutely no power.

      • MBS

        You really can’t compare the guys as they are 2 different kind of players. It would be like comparing a Center to a Point Guard, and not only that but one’s from different eras. I would love to have a Rose and a Votto on my team. If you can add in a Davis, Larkin, Morgan, and Bench to, that would be appreciated.

      • Daytonnati

        Pete’s character issues overshadow what is still, to me, a mind-blowing stat. In order to surpass Pete’s hit record, a player has to get 200 hits a year, every year, for 21 years, then get 57 more …

      • Greenfield Red

        I’ll add in that PR’s leadership helped to win 3 WS and appear in 2 more. JV’s leadership, which I question, lead to a grand total of 2 playoff game wins on some pretty good teams. Throw in PR’s lifetime baseball earnings of 7.1 million, even if adjusted for baseball inflation, compared to JV’s, and it’s an easy choice for me.

        Give me the guy with twice as many hits and 3 rings for pennies on the dollar.

      • Doug Gray

        I mean Pete Rose was literally the highest paid player in baseball at one point….

        But Pete’s “leadership” was certainly helped out by having half a dozen hall of famers on the same team. Joey Votto would have had rings had he been on the 1970’s Reds, and Pete would have none had he been on the 2007-2022 Reds.

      • Greenfield Red

        Here’s another point: PR was Charlie Hustle. His hustle made a difference hundreds, if not thousands, of times in his career by taking an extra base, breaking up a double play, ect, even though his hustle oftentimes didn’t show up in the box score it was always there…. always without fail.

        Has there been 10 times in JV’s career where his extra hustle made a difference? I doubt it.

        Just last week Richard’s piece on RLN highlighted that had PR not broken up that double play in game 7 of the 75 WS, TP wouldn’t have had the chance at his heroics.

        PR’s hustle, that didn’t make the box score, likely changed the outcome of a World Series and as Richard pointed out, possibly 2 WS. Think about that.

        There is no way to quantify something like that except to say PR did it again and again, and JV did not.

      • Doug Gray

        So there’s no way to quantify something Pete did, but you are certain that Joey’s not doing something (be it leadership in helping other hitters over the years or whatever)? Seems strange.

      • Greenfield Red

        And 1 more reason I’ll take PR is this: My son, who is now 15, and I have had 1 fan experience with each. The PR experience was very good. He spent extra time talking to my son who was about 10 at the time.

        The experience with JV was negative. The opportunity was there. A dozen or so kids were watching him take ground ball practice on his own with coaches in AZ. He knew they were there. To make it positive all he had to do was look up and tip his cap to them. He didn’t even do that much let alone more he could have done.

        My wife will not forgive him for that and will be happy when he is no longer on the team for that reason. I wonder how many other moms have the same feeling?

      • Doug Gray

        Pete Rose was sleeping with a high school student, but Joey Votto didn’t tip his cap and he’s the one your wife is mad at? Dude.

      • Greenfield Red

        Doug, I know we disagree on this subject. I appreciate the conversation.

      • Scotly50

        Doug your intense dislike for Rose has skewered your opinion. Rose was a major reason the Reds won two WS in a row, not in spite of him. I would take Rose’s hits all day today and tomorrow as well over Votto’s walks.

      • Doug Gray

        Pete Rose was the 3rd best player on all of those teams behind Bench and Morgan. He was very good in his own right. He’s not as good of a hitter as Joey Votto.

      • Still a Red

        I just don’t think you can simply compare Joey and Pete as hitters. Joey’s modern day stats would indicate he is better by OPS+ standards….more power, more walks. Probably way more cerebral (not sure that’s always a plus). But you just cannot discount the number of 200 hit seasons for Pete. Not that many players today even get to 200 hits. At age 38, Pete had 208 hits, 40 doubles, batted .331, with a .418 OBP and an OPS of .848. Would you take that today ?
        And having seen both play, I honestly can say I had more faith in Pete with a runner in scoring position than I have had with Joey. Yes, Pete played with lots of other good hitters, but I sure would have liked to have had someone like Pete bat in front of Joey.

    • AMDG

      Rose was very good over a longer period of time.

      Votto was a better hitter, but over a shorter window.

      Over an 18-year span (1965-1982) Rose had a slash line of 312 / 383 / 429, with an 125 OPS+

      Over a 12-year span (2007-2018) Votto had a better slash line of 311 / 427 / 530, with a 155 OPS+

      Over their last 4 seasons, they both underperformed vs their history, and both barely hit 0.200 in their final season.

      • Melvin

        Not taking anything away from what Rose did. What he accomplished as a player was amazing and probably won’t happen again. It is worth noting that he did not have to worry about 100+ fastballs and 90+ off speed most of the time. The shift didn’t happen too often in his day either although I do think guys on the Big Red Machine would have beat it. They were focused on winning and would gladly have taken the singe but that’s another discussion. The main point is that, Votto, if he played at that time, would have accomplished much much more. He’s clearly the better hitter in my view.

  28. VegasRed

    Joey may still surprise us. I have wondered all year if he was just done or possibly injured and to me this announcement now make perfect sense. He clearly hasn’t been himself for months.

    But Joey Votto is not the problem for the Reds. Playing like he has the last couple months has not helped but the Reds let a lot of offensive talent go to begin the year and at the trade deadline. Druzy was the top hitter on the team and was a great pickup to start the year.

    I support trading him but the reds miss him no question. The reds will need to find a couple guys like him for next year, to fill in holes.

    If the reds sign a few decent bp vets and a couple ballers like drury and solano, maybe they can play close to.500 ball. It would require big years from India and Stephenson and some solid development from the young guys like Barrero, Lopez, Friedl, Fairchild, Acquino, and a couple FA’s.

    New management on the field would b huge as well. Not holding my breath.

    • Rednat

      problem is it is hard to find guys like Drury. not many good hitters left in the league and the rich teams have the market cornered with anybody that can hit at all.

  29. Rednat

    i know Joey will work his tail off to get back stronger than ever in 2023. You can’t count him out. He is a competitor. If all goes well, I would like to see him in 2024 as well. 20 mil seems a little steep. maybe he and the reds could find a compromise and meet somewhere in the middle.

    I am not expecting much of the reds anytime soon and at least he would give me a reason to go to the ballpark. I have mostly enjoyed how Joey has really matured as a human being over the years and hope he sticks around with the reds.

    Yesterday, i went to the game and saw Joey pick up Barerro after a strike out to end the inning. the humanity of the game is about all we have left now as reds fans!

    • CFD3000

      Agree. By all accounts Votto has always quietly worked hard on his fitness and skills, even when he was healthy and playing great. I have no doubt he’ll commit to this rehab and come back strong. Then we’ll find out if he can hold off Father Time again. I’m actually relieved that he’s been injured, rather than learning he’s just getting older. And I know I’m not qualified to judge whether something like this should have happened sooner. But as a Reds fan and a Votto fan I’m choosing to take this as good news, and root hard for Joey to play so well that the FO AND the fans want to pick up his option for 2024 (or at least negotiate and intermediate deal). Wouldn’t that be the best case outcome? So why wouldn’t you root for that? If anyone can pull that off my money is on Joey Votto.

  30. gusnwally

    I have never wanted to join in on the David Bell brouhaha. I dont think he is particularly good but I realize what he has had to work with. But now you are telling me that with complete knowledge of Joey’s condition. He played him every day and batted him third or fourth. REALLY REALLY!!!!!!!!!

  31. Steven Ross

    I wish Votto a speedy recovery. You could tell something wasn’t right the other day when he hit one to left and honestly, I believe he thought it was going out but the ball died on the warning track. You could see the frustration in his face.

    Get healthy and come back stronger. Now we just need Bell to wake-up and bat Votto 3rd next season. Then again, maybe we’ll have a new Manager? Hmmmm….

  32. Hotto4Votto

    Sad to hear it. But it does explain some things. As many noted above he just wasn’t hitting the ball with any authority even though it looked as though he was squaring up fairly well. I’d thought over the past week or two something seemed off, like more than just needing a rest, though I also think he should get more regular rest at his age. I wish it could have been identified earlier, before he completely tanked his season lines. He had actually crept up on solid numbers overall until the final stint. Oh well, most importantly he heals up and gets ready for a last hurrah. Votto’s been mostly the reason I have tuned in at all this season, so it’s sort of a blessing and curse that he’s done for now.

  33. Beaufort Red

    I find it hard to believe he’s played with this for seven years. I’m currently experiencing a partial tear and lifting my arm is excruciating. I’m being treated by a orthopedic surgeon and 3 times a weak physical therapy. He may have some shoulder issues put playing with a damaged rotator for seven years deserves several Pinocchios.

    • David

      I did not listen to Joey’s press conference (which was on the Cincinnati Reds website). But from what I gather, although this has been bothering him, the pain the last few months was getting unbearable, and he even had trouble sleeping.
      A lot of pro-athletes play through pain and being a little hurt, because that’s the nature of the game. It’s rare for a player to end the year without any pains or hurts.
      Johnny Bench played a month in 1972, I think, with a broken finger.
      In 1975, Scipio Spinks (pitcher for the Cardinals) ran into Johnny full tilt to score a run. Scipio was not a small man, either. It hurt Spinks so he actually did not pitch much again (ended his career), and hurt Johnny’s left shoulder, which was not revealed until after the ’75 World Series. Johnny played less in 1976 than any previous year since 1968, and had a lousy year (statistically), recovering from shoulder surgery.
      So Joey played through the pain, until it became just about unbearable.

  34. Jim t

    Hope TJ Friedl gets the roster spot created by Joey’s injury. Solano will be back off paternity soon. This allows reds to keep both. TJ was murdering the ball in Louisville. He also had a hit yesterday.

  35. Beaufort Red

    Be interesting what Red’s record is from here on out. Not a Votto hater just a realist. People want to jump on Bell. While I do blame him for keeping Votto in the 4 hole, he couldn’t have done anything if Votto didn’t tell him he was unable to perform.

  36. Dale

    Wow, is there any reason to watch the Reds anymore this season? Votto out, and talk of shutting down the young pitchers? No Greene, Ashcraft, or Lodolo? Why tune in to see Mike Minor lose another game? The Reds are not bringing up Brandon Williamson? Why watch, let alone go to the games?

  37. old-school

    Has there been any mention of who is performing the surgery. It will be interesting if we hear from the surgeon on what they find and repair.

    Does the element of chronicity and years of injury mean more scarring and a more complicated rehab? Did they find other shoulder damage? I hope we hear some info from the surgeon. Dr Neal ElAttrache was the surgeon operating on Joe Burrow’s knee and he gave detailed insights into things.

    • Doug Gray

      Joey refused to answer that question yesterday. So no, we do not know.

    • SOQ

      I would assume it would be Kremchek or one of the other Beacon surgeons. They have the contract with the Reds

  38. Nick in NKY

    The optimist in me believes that JV is one of the hardest working ballplayers on the team, maybe in the league. His prep and fitness support this, and if anyone can come back, it’ll be him.

    But the upper 30s guy that’s had two surgeries on the same shoulder in me knows that’s a long row to hoe, even for a guy starting in excellent physical condition. Shoulders are complicated. While on one hand I’m happy to know that there’s a reason his well struck drives have been dying in the outfield for what seems like months now, I’m skeptical that we’ll ever see another Votto drive head out to left center. I’ll stay optimistic, but it might be time to embrace the post-Votto Reds era. I’d like to be wrong about this, but we’ll see.

  39. LDS

    Have there been any roster move rumors? I know we aren’t likely to get them until later tomorrow, but I would think it advantageous to go ahead and lock it down since they are on the road tomorrow, although only to Pittsburgh

    • BK

      Solano should come off the “Paternity List”, tomorrow–max stay is 3 days.

      • LDS

        Yeah, but I think there’s still a 40 slot open with JV on the 60

    • Jim Walker

      There was some buzz on Twitter from Charlie (Enquirer) that Moose could be back as soon as Friday. If Moose and Solano are both back somebody else has to go off the active list.

      Here is hoping it is not Lopes or Friedl.

      I doubt they spend the 40 man slot opened by Joey’s injury until they are ready to bring somebody new onto the active list. The caveat would be if they win a waiver award. If that happens and the guy awarded on waivers can be optioned, then they will have to decide whether to put him on option or move somebody else off the 26 man active roster, presuming either Moose or Solano return.

      • LDS

        Yeah, like Moose returning is something we all look forward to. And I was one of those who thought it was a decent signing. Little did I know that once he had the “security” of a multi-year contract that he’d go on a beer and pizza diet. Great diet for college crams but lousy in the long run.

  40. MK

    Another factor in the whole Spring Training estimate is in the past it seems Votto has been a slow healer. Recall it took him a half season to recover from a routine meniscus tear procedure. We’ve seen NFLers come back in two weeks from similar procedures. He either healed slow or would not be proceed until he was 100%. As I mentioned above my orthopedic surgeon said it takes a year to be healed completely, even with all the therapy I went through. In fact I still occasionally feel a little pressure in the 8 years later.

  41. Mike

    A hitting machine like Joey could be very productive well into his 40’s, if healthy, as last year attests. The question is, do we pay that extra 13 mil to keep him, or put it toward other needs, given CES/McGarry should be here by ’24

    • MBS

      I’d say the JV 24 will be determined by JV 23. We clearly won’t be so deep that JV will be “taking anyone’s spot”. The question will be is he as good as a 13M FA that they could spend the $$$$$ on. I’d love a comeback story where JV leaves the game on top, as much as I’d hate the old vet who can’t keep up story.

  42. Brian

    Not a bad outcome, all things considered.

    1) This year is “done”, save for getting playing time for players we want to develop; Joey being out just provides more time for such guys.
    2) His shoulder may have bothered him more than he let on, not only this year but in the recent few years. If he can regain even some of his lost batting power and speed, that would be great.
    3) Related to 2 above, we are now set up with a Votto Farewell Tour next year in all likelihood. If he has a decent (or even less than decent) year, it won’t do us too much harm as it’s likely we won’t be competitive next year. And if he has a great year, then all the better, and perhaps we keep him 1 more year (or renegotiate his deal).
    4) It saves Joey the embarrassment, and us fans the sadness in seeing Joey play the way he has the past several weeks.

  43. IrishMike

    Does Joey going out this way allow the Reds to defer payment and place payment or a portion of payment for his contract during the downtime on an insurance policy ?

    And here I was… thinking all the time that part of this years debacle was caused by the into song Joline ! I hate that song. Joline was a girl. He needs to switch upon return to the Beatles “Get Back”… get back Jo-Jo !!!!

    • Jim Walker

      Presumably, as long as Votto is on the 60 day IL and then 40 man roster over the winter, he would be paid in the same amounts at the same intervals as if he were healthy and on the active. They would then put him back on the IL in the spring to continue that status quo.

      Any special settlement arrangements for deferred payout would be in the contract.

      Regarding insurance, clubs have been reported to have moved away from insuring most contracts because the premium versus recovery ratios were very unfavorable.
      My guess would be even if they had to borrow to finance a payout, the interest cost over the term of the loan would be cheaper than premiums over the length of a contract. However, the Votto contract given its size and age might be one of the few that would still have at least partial coverage.

  44. old-school

    Pujols signed a 1 year $2.5 mil contract to play an extra year for the cards.
    I guess its not out of the realm of possibility if Votto comes back healthy and finishes 2023 healthy and wants to play another year. They could renegotiate the terms of the 2024 buyout/option.

    The Reds arent paying him $20 mil in 2024 so maybe they could just arrive at a $7-10 mil 1 year deal. Votto gets to play another year and the Reds don’t get hammered public relations if Votto plays elsewhere or hammered financially with a $20 mil hit.

    • Jim Walker

      The buyout on the $20m for 2024 is $7m; so, that’s where it starts. If Votto has an interest in seeing who else might be interested and what they would pay him, he can just sit tight and force the Reds to pay the $7m (versus rolling him over at $20m).

      Otherwise, the Reds and Votto could do the extension ahead of the option call and roll the $7m into it in which case your $10m could turn out to be spot on.

      Wouldn’t it be something if Votto made a statement by taking waiting out the $7m buyout and then signing elsewhere for a song with more on the table with the Reds.