Reds fans will love which player has Joey Votto’s locker for 2024

Joey Votto's jersey number won't be seen on the field in 2024, but someone is occupying his locker.

The hat and glove of Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto
The hat and glove of Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,

Joey Votto's time with the Cincinnati Reds has come to an end. As spring training begins this week, notably absent from Goodyear, Arizona is the former NL MVP. This offseason, the Reds made the difficult decision to decline Votto's $20 million team-option, and it would seem as though the club has no intention of re-signing the six-time All-Star. Votto has drawn a little interest, but remains a free agent.

Votto's No. 19 won't be worn by any Cincinnati player this season, and will eventually be hanging above the playing surface at Great American Ball Park to commemorate the 17 seasons he gave to the Reds organization and the city of Cincinnati. But his locker in the Reds' clubhouse at the team's spring training facility will not be vacant.

According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, Hunter Greene's No. 21 jersey is now hanging in the locker that once belonged to Votto. Rosecrans notes the fact that Greene's gear is now housed in Votto's old locker has nothing to do with his status on the team, but rather the fact the lockers are typically arranged in numerical order. However, the former first-round pick could very well become the face of the Reds franchise going forward.

Reds RHP Hunter Greene Joey Votto’s locker for 2024

Greene, and anyone else on the team for that matter, has a long way to go before being anointed as the face of the franchise. Two years ago, most fans would've handed the mantle to Jonathan India. But after two down-years and consistent trade rumors this offseason, that hardly seems likely.

Greene, however, has good standing within the clubhouse and the community. The flamethrower has been a model for young fans he encounters and his six-year contract extension last spring virtually guarantees that Greene will be a big part of this Reds franchise going forward.

That said, this is a crucial season for Hunter Greene. He has the chance to become the first Cincinnati pitcher since Johnny Cueto in 2015 to be the Reds starter on Opening Day in back-to-back seasons.

It's also an opportunity to prove what he can do when healthy. Greene battled through the ups and downs of a rookie campaign in 2021, then suffered through an injury-plagued 2023 season. In 2024, the right-hander is expected to be one of the top pitchers in the Reds rotation, and has the repertoire to be the Reds' ace. If Greene puts it all together, he'll have earned that locker that once belonged to one of the best players in Reds history.