NL Central: Burning Questions for Each Team

Cincinnati Reds – Will Joey Votto stay healthy?

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Credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images North America

 

On paper, the Reds have one of the best lineups in the division. Unfortunately, the games are not played on paper.  The Reds dealt with injuries and down years across the board last year and slumped to a 76-86 record. Franchise centerpiece Joey Votto missed 100 games and struggled when he was actually on the field.

Votto is entering the second year of his ten year $225 million contract. As much as I love Votto as a player, ten years for a player with a history of injuries entering his age 30 season, as Votto was when his extension kicked in, is entering franchise crippling territory. Votto has missed 151 games the past three years, along with a noticeable decline in power. Votto has slugged .567, .491, and .409 the past three years. At 31, has he already entered the downside of his career? The Reds certainly hope not.

Despite the slide in slugging, Votto’s batting average had staying above .300 and he remained a reliable on base machine until last season when his average dipped to .255.  Votto will probably never approach the .600 slugging percentage he put up in 2010, but if he is healthy, 2014 should be totally wiped from the books.

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