Apr 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) is hit by a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

What Will Reds' Opponents Do When Joey Votto Gets His Groove Back?

What will Reds’ opponents do when Joey Votto gets on board and joins the offensive festivities? We have all seen and read about how potent the offense is. Todd Frazier and Shin-Soo Choo are absolutely tearing it up. Brandon Phillips is looking better than ever. Jay Bruce has come out of the swamp and the bench has picked up some slack. But where is Votto?

He isn’t doing that badly, just terrible in Votto-vision. I think I may trademark that little wordplay. His OBP is excellent at .472 trailing only Choo and Frazier. That is where the goodness stops and mediocrity has found a nest. A man who usually sports an OPS with four digits finds himself showing .792 through Monday night’s games.

Unfortunately the power is missing early on. Just prior to joining this knowledgeable and experienced staff of writers I addressed the question of Votto’s absence of power since returning from the Disabled List last season.

For his career Votto has an ISO (isolated power) of .235. His ISO prior to 2012 was .236. Before his injury he had an ISO of .262 for the year. After the injury it plummeted to an all-time low of .105. Now he has dropped to a new ‘all-time low’ of .080. To put that in proper perspective Choo, Frazier, Phillips and Xavier Paul all have an ISO of over .300 right now.

The “doubles machine” has failed to gap a double or home run thus far, however he is credited with one triple. Last season in only 111 games he finished second in the league with 44 two-baggers. He is still walking at a world-class level. He lead the National League in bases on balls in 2011 and 2012 and his 2013 total of 10 leads the league.

At the time of this writing the Reds lead the civilized world in run differential, outscoring their opponents by 26 runs. In contrast, the Nationals have a 4-2 record yet have been outscored by seven runs.

Am I writing this to say I am worried about Votto? No, I know he will come around, at least in terms of batting average. I don’t know about the power, but with the supporting cast he is blessed with he doesn’t need to hit more than 15 or 20 home runs.

What I am asking is how the other teams are going to deal with this offensive juggernaut when Votto is fully unleashed?

Let the doubles begin.

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Tags: Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto

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