May 7, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Jonathan Herrera (10) dives back to first before the tag of Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
CINCINNATI- The $200,000,000 Man is nearly ready for his coveted return.
The 2010 National League MVP worked out with team officials Thursday, taking grounders in his rehabilitation regiment. He apparently felt positive about it, as it is believed Joey Votto will take live batting practice very soon (likely over the course of the upcoming weekend). He is eligible to come off of the 15-day Disabled List as soon as May 31st, though most insiders don’t believe he will be available for the Reds until next week. During the second inning of the radio broadcast of Thursday night’s game against Arizona, mlb.com insider Mark Sheldon was asked that if he were to be a “betting man, when would [he] expect Votto to be back?” His response? “Tuesday.”
Now I’m an intelligent man, but Sheldon knows far more about baseball than I could hope to have learned in my short twenty years of living. He also knows more about baseball than most of the people I have ever spoken to throughout the course of my life. So if he believes Votto will back on June 3rd, I believe him over the majority of the population at large that could potentially have an opinion. Sheldon also said that he does not believe Votto will make any rehab starts with Triple-A Louisville. The Reds, who have the 3rd-fewest runs in Major League Baseball this season, will almost certainly benefit from having the MLB’s 7th-best on-base percentage back in their line-up. Joey Votto is behind only Troy Tulowitzki, Yasiel Puig, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Shin-Soo Choo (!), and Giancarlo Stanton in OBP (arguably baseball’s most telling batting statistic), which I find to be outstanding company.
Bringing back #19 is absolutely critical for the Reds if they want to even think about making a run at the 2014 World Series, so for me personally, this is fantastic news.