Joey Votto, the $225 million dollar man. When the Cincinnati Reds signed Votto to a 10-year/$225 million deal, they most likely expected to get more bang for their buck. Votto was coming off a fantastic year in 2011 where he hit above .300 with 29 home runs and totaled 103 runs batted in. In 2012 the Reds extended the long-term contract to Votto and he ended up having an injury riddled year in which he played in 111 games. He did hit .337 that year but his power numbers decreased quite a bit as he hit 14hr and only had in 56 runs batted in.
Votto did end up having a healthy 2013 campaign in which he played in all 162 games, but fast forward to 2014 and he only played in 62 games due to more knee problems. His average and power declined rapidly last year as he hit .255 with only six home runs during limited playing time.
The past is the past now. Put all of that behind him and he is now set to make his 2015 Spring Training debut Saturday as the Reds face the Kansas City Royals. Votto has been held out of the first four Spring Training games by Bryan Price based on Votto’s progress thus far. That could sound a bit discouraging to hear for Reds fans across the country, but it is true that Votto is aging and is not as agile as he once was. That being said, it made sense to hold Votto back just a little bit until he felt like he was fully ready.
Votto did say though that he feels good so far with his progress. “I was surprised at how good I feel this early. I’m trending to starting to play in games, hopefully here in the not too distant future,” Votto told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. The time has now come for Votto to start playing in live baseball games. With the injury problems he has had in the past it will certainly be a storyline to keep an eye on this season.