Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto began the 2023 season on the injury list. He wasn’t quite ready, in his own opinion, to begin the season as he worked his way back from surgery in August to repair both his rotator cuff as well as a torn biceps muscle. Instead of starting with the Reds, Votto began his season in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats on a rehab assignment. After a rain out on Friday, the Louisville Bats and the Nashville Sounds hit the field at 6:10pm ET on Saturday to play a doubleheader. By 6:20pm, Joey Votto had hit a baseball nearly out of the stadium. The first pitch the future Hall of Famer saw was a cutter that came in at 88 MPH. It left at 108 MPH. And it went 448 feet before it landed just below the video board well beyond the playing field.

That’s certainly one way to open up your rehab assignment. In his second plate appearance he walked on four pitches. The full Joey Votto Experience in a matter of three innings. He would strike out in his next two plate appearances, finishing game one 1-3 with a walk and a home run.

Votto is scheduled to play in both games of the doubleheader tonight in Nashville. He’s starting at first base in game one. The expectation is that he will start as the Bats designated hitter in the second game. The lineup was just posted for Game 2 and Votto is not in it.

Minor league rehab assignments are limited to 20 days for position players. With today being the first day of assignment for Votto he could remain in Triple-A with Louisville through April 20th before having to return on the 21st. That’s a Friday and the Reds will be playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates that day. Votto could return sooner than that if and when the team and he decide that he’s ready – as long as it’s Thursday April 6th or later as he must spend 10 days on the injured list, retroactively to March 27th.

14 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Wow. That WAS almost out of the park. As you said BB on balls too in his second AB. He may not be down there very long.

    • Melvin

      Stoudt seems to be pitching fairly well too. No hits through three. Bad news: three walks…so far.

  2. Rednat

    I would love Votto and Senzel to come back this year and contribute to the team. Great sentimental stories. I doubt this team wins more than 60 games this year but seeing Votto have one last fling and Senzel resurrecting himself from all the injuries would keep me at least a little interested in the reds

    • CFD3000

      Nice start for Joey.

      If Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft stay reasonably healthy this year I will be stunned if the Reds don’t win 70 games, let alone 60.

  3. Jimbo44CN

    Can’t wait for JOey to get back up. So far, not impressed with Myers. Need him out there at first.

  4. DHud

    Love seeing the HR. But he’s now been beat by 93 and 89 up for strikeouts

    That doesn’t bode well

  5. Melvin

    Naquin wins it in extra innings on a walk off opposite field HR.

  6. Melvin

    Doesn’t look like Votto is playing in the second game.

  7. Redsvol

    Love Joey votto. But watching him run the bases / even his home run trot- looks painful. I’m reminded that Father Time is undefeated.

  8. MuddyCleats

    Attended the first game tonight. Votto & Naquin homers where gone at the Crack of the bat – No doubters! Not much else on offense. McClain had a nice steal of second following a walk, Sinai a sharp single n his 1st AB & Hopkins a loud & deep out to RF on a two strike swing. Bright spot was Stoudt’s solid performance on the bump & Chuckie Robinson behind the dish. Brewers #2 prospect, Frelick had a nice game; making n impact n game 2 also

  9. Jim Walker

    Starter Brandon Williamson’s performance (game 2) was not encouraging. He got off the hook with only 2 of 4 runs allowed over 3 innings being charged as earned.

    However, Williamson needed 74 pitches to record 9 outs (7+ pitches per out). He threw nearly as many balls (36) as strikes (38), allowing 2BB plus 7 additional 3 ball counts to the 17 batters faced. At least the bullpen held the line until the final inning when a ghost runner came across to end the game in Nashville’s favor.

  10. MLT

    I was at the doubleheader yesterday in Nashville. Great to see Votto working his way back. Hope he has a great year and stays healthy. Only disturbing thing at the game was seeing Hunter Strickland pitching the 4th inning of the first game. He did get a scoreless inning but walked 3 guys in the process. Williamson was pretty bad in the second game. Couldn’t get the ball down and had several “Nuke LaLoosh” moments firing the ball over everyone’s head in the box. Granted, it was pretty cold but control was hard to come by for him. McClain had a nice HR in the second game. Fun day at the ballpark, even with the Bats losing both in extras.