Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto’s 2022 campaign is coming to an early end.
The first baseman will have season-ending surgery to fix a torn rotator cuff, Votto announced Wednesday. He’ll have the surgery on Friday.
Votto, who turns 39 in September, shared that his shoulder has actually been bothering him since 2015, telling reporters he’s “had a difficult time with it” lately.
“I’ve been able to play through it,” Votto said. “Only in the past three or four months or so it’s been painful to the point — without getting into the specifics — difficult to lift. It hurts to sleep.”
Consequently, Votto’s posting the lowest numbers of his 16-year career. He’s hitting just .206 with a .689 OPS to go along with 11 homers and 41 RBIs. He went hitless in his last five games.
Votto didn’t want to say the injury was affecting his play, though.
“I’m not sure if it’s affected my performance, I can’t say that,” Votto said. “I don’t want to make an excuse. Surgery is necessary. … I’ve been trying to play through it for a while now.”
Votto said that he was told it’ll be a six-month rehab process once he has surgery on Friday, which would keep him out until the start of spring training in 2023. Votto said “that’s the goal” for his return, too.
The six-time All-Star is under contract for the 2023 season with the Reds and is due to make $25 million. He has a $20 million club option for 2024.
Votto was asked during the Field of Dreams Game on FOX last Thursday how much longer he planned to play. He did not answer in specifics.
“I’m having a great time,” Votto told Joe Davis and John Smoltz. “I want to keep playing.”
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Whether Votto returns or not, he has a strong Hall of Fame case.
He won the NL MVP in 2010 while leading the Reds to their first postseason appearance in 15 years. Votto’s compiled 2,093 hits, 342 homers and 1,106 RBIs while posting a .297 batting average over his 16-year career. His .412 on-base percentage ranks 33rd all-time and second among active players behind Mike Trout (.416). He’s led the National League in that category seven times.
The sweet-swinging lefty has spent his entire career with the Reds, which are currently 46-70 and in fourth place in the NL Central.
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