Reds desperately need Joey Votto’s bat back in the lineup

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 30: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his 300th career home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 30: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates his 300th career home run. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Joey Votto‘s absence is starting to affect the Cincinnati Reds lineup in a bad way. With Eugenio Suarez struggling, Nick Castellanos has no protection behind him in the batting order. Despite what the naysayers may think, this team desperately need Votto’s bat in the lineup.

While a section of Reds Country may no longer respect Votto’s presence in the batter’s box, opposing pitchers do. Votto left May 5th’s contest versus the Chicago White Sox after he was hit by a pitch, and x-rays revealed the six-time All-Star had a broken thumb. In the seven games prior to that injury, Votto was hitting .273/.385/.545 with a home run and six RBIs.

Despite what some Reds fans may say, Joey Votto’s bat is missed.

Joey Votto is an extremely polarizing player, but the fact of the matter is, the Cincinnati Reds are missing his presence in the lineup. With Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel nursing minor injuries as well, the only two bats that pose a threat to the opposition are Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos.

While some fans may say that Votto may not possess the power or bat speed he once did, one look at Baseball Savant would tell a different story. Votto ranks in the top 20% of all players in average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, xwOBA, and xSLG. In short, Votto still bangs.

David Bell has tried any number of things with an eye toward jumpstarting the Reds lineup. However, with Moustakas and Senzel in and out of the lineup, finding a consistent presence behind his two star hitters has been a difficult task.

While Votto ranks fairly high in terms of exit velocity, xSLG, and other advanced metrics, Eugenio Suarez’s numbers are about as bad as you can get. Geno’s average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, and xBA are among the worst in baseball.

Joey Votto was back on the field with his Reds teammates yesterday.

According to, Votto is expected to receive a follow-up x-ray in the coming days to see how well he’s progressing. Cincinnati Reds skipper David Bell said that Votto has begun very limited baseball activity.

Knowing Votto, he’s itching to return to the field, but his history suggests that once he receives the green light, we may not see the 37-year-old return to form as quickly as we’d hope. Votto is a notoriously slow starter, and getting back into baseball shape may require a minor-league rehab stint.

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One thing is for sure, the Reds lineup hasn’t been the same since Joey Votto hit the IL. During the month of April, Cincinnati’s OPS was sitting at .766. But, over the past 15 days, the Reds OPS is just .715. The Reds desperately need Votto’s bat back in the lineup.