Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto joined Mark Sheldon and Tommy Thrall on the Reds Hot Stove League on Wednesday evening and he had a lot of interesting things to say. He addressed his shoulder rehab after having surgery on it late last season and where he’s at with it, the signing of Wil Myers, and more. You can listen to the entire show below.
But one of the more blunt things that he said was when asked about any adjustments he made need to make because of the surgery, he said this:
“Truly, I didn’t play well enough last year to even justify a starting job. So the idea of making any sort of technical changes, I don’t think that’s sustainable because I wouldn’t be able to play well enough.”
In 2022 Votto hit just .205/.319/.370 before going on the injured list in mid-August so he could undergo shoulder surgery. At the time he noted that he had been playing through the pain, but that at the point in which he went to the injured list that it was at a point where it was difficult for him to lift his arm.
Listen here (Joey Votto is on during the first 22 minutes)
The first baseman, who is entering perhaps the final year of his contract (the team holds a $20,000,000 option for 2024 that has a $7,000,000 buyout), said that he’s looking forward to playing again.
“I’m just going to keep plugging away at it,” Votto said. “I’m looking forward to playing, I miss playing. I miss playing well. I think that with two healthy arms I’m going to be able to play well again. I don’t have very much doubt about that.”
When that return happens, though, isn’t quite certain. Mark Sheldon asked Votto if he thought he would be 100% by the start of spring training.
“I say I’m not willing to make that prediction just because I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’ve never experienced anything like this and I try to manage my expectations, of course. I’m hopeful – I’m always hopeful, of course. Yeah, that’s where my head’s at.”
Following the procedure, Votto noted that he was told that recovery time was about six months. He had surgery in late August. Six months from that point in time would be late February, or right around the start of spring training.