In what could be his final season in a Cincinnati Reds uniform, veteran first basemen Joey Votto has had just three hits since the All-Star Break.
According to FanGraphs, Votto is hitting .081/.209/.189 during that stretch and has wRC+ of just 9. For a team trying to win the division, it is difficult to argue that Votto merits a spot in the lineup.
On the season, Votto has a slash line of .181/.300/.468 through 28 games. David Bell has platooned Votto at times and even pinch hit for him in certain situations, but does the Cincinnati Reds manager have the guts to reduce Joey Votto's role even more?
Does Reds manager David Bell have the guts to reduce Joey Votto's role even more?
Joey Votto is a 17-year veteran who has played every game of his major league career in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. The former MVP is a lock for the Reds Hall of Fame and, while some may argue against it, will likely make his way to Cooperstown as well.
However, this 2023 season, the 39-year-old is not the same player as he used to be. Father Time is the enemy that none of us can beat, and Votto is no exception. So what are the Reds to do with the slumping first basemen?
David Bell needs to give Votto more days off and only utilize him as a designated hitter vs right-handed pitchers. According to FanGraphs, Votto has a career slash line of .303/.421/.536 vs right-handers.
Platooning Votto and limiting his fielding is an attempt to put him in situations where he is more likely to succeed. Furthermore, it allows more playing time for the likes of Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Spencer Steer who have shared first base duties with Votto this season.
Votto is believably in his final season in a Reds uniform. The six-time All-Star has a $20-million club-option with a $7-million buyout for the 2024 season that is unlikely be exercised. Though not likely, the Reds could bring Votto back on a team friendly deal. The latter option is equally uncertain with Votto’s recent play, along with a crowded infield heading into next season.
We are witnessing the final days of Joey Votto as a member of Cincinnati Reds, and his time left should be employed in ways that are prepared with a favorable outcome. Only time will tell if David Bell has the guts to reduce Joey Votto’s role on this team.