One of the reasons that the Cincinnati Reds were so good last season is because of Joey Votto. In the first half of the season, he was an absolute monster. He hit .348 with 14 homers and 48 RBI. He had an OPS of 1.087. Then came the knee injury. Votto suffered a torn meniscus. His second half was below replacement level. In 27 games, he hit .299 with no home runs and eight RBI. He only had nine doubles as his extra base hits in 87 at-bats.
Votto has to be at 100% for the Reds to be a World Series contender. Granted, they almost went to the NLCS last year if not for the incredible comeback by the San Francisco Giants, however, maybe they don’t come back if Votto is 100%. He hit .286 in that series, but with zero extra base hits and zero RBI.
The Reds have a ton of talent They have a deep starting rotation, a loaded bullpen, whether or not Aroldis Chapman is in it or not, and a pretty good offense. They surrounded Votto with Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and the newly-acquired Shin-Soo Choo. The thing is though, Votto is the key. He has to be 100% for this team to win the World Series.
Votto is signed until 2023. He’s the face of the franchise for the Reds. He’s still in his prime at 29. The Reds are looking to win the World Series now. Votto is a huge part of that. He has to be healthy and the Reds can’t allow him to play in the World Baseball Classic.