Reds: Joey Votto and Jesse Winker have picked up the slack

It’s as if Joey Votto hopped into a DeLorean, turned the time circuits on, revved up the engine to 88-MPH, and returned to 2017. At the same time, Jesse Winker has caught fire once again, and the Cincinnati Reds two best hitters have been carrying the team on their backs since Nick Castellanos went on the injured list.

When Castellanos was hit on the wrist by Milwaukee’s Adrian Houser in the first game following the All-Star break, it seemed to suck the life out of the team. However, Votto and Winker have stepped up since that time, combining for 33 hits in 12 games and collective batting average of .344.

What we’re seeing from Votto is a resurgence like few you’ll ever witness in sports. Many fans and pundits had written Votto off following poor performances in 2019 and 2020, but Joey has proven this season that he still bangs. Votto is crushing the ball of late with seven homers in his last five games.

As for Winker, this is what Reds fans have been hoping to see for quite some time. The left-handed hitting slugger proved last season that he could hit lefties, and this season Winker leads the team in homers (21), and went to his first All-Star Game. While Votto isn’t ready to pass the torch just yet, it seems pretty obvious to me that Winker will be the next great Reds player.

Joey Votto and Jesse Winker are carrying the Reds right now.

What Joey Votto and Jesse Winker are doing right now is exactly what the Cincinnati Reds needed. Without Nick Castellanos, someone was going to have to step up. Both Votto and Winker have done that.

Votto is hitting .372/.491/.977 since the All-Star break and has eight home runs and 16 RBIs. Winker is a close second with a slash line .321/.368/.585, two long balls and eight RBIs. Votto has drawn 10 walks during that time as well while Winker has four free passes in his last 12 games.

We haven’t heard an update on Nick Castellanos recently, but the team’s MVP is in-line to return to the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup this weekend. Having not heard much, I tend to think we won’t see Castellanos for another week, but hopefully his return will not be so prolonged that it requires a rehab stint.

Until then, Reds’ fans will have to rely on the combination of Joey Votto and Jesse Winker, which isn’t too shabby. By the way, we have to give credit to Kyle Farmer as well, as the Cincinnati shortstop is hitting .439/.511/.732 over the last 12 games. That 1.242 OPS over that span is second only to Votto’s ridiculous 1.468 OPS.