It was just a couple of months ago that I discussed Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto, and what his fantasy value would be the rest of the season.
At the time, he was on the DL nursing a quad injury, and had yet to resume on-field activities. I basically approached the situation this way: if you own him, trade him; if someone else in your league was growing tired of the situation, he may not be a bad guy to target in a buy-low scenario. Flash forward to Monday, and we are presented with a nearly identical question: what do we do with Joey Votto? And putting him in cement shoes and dropping him in the Ohio River is not an acceptable answer.
Votto is now headed to the DL for the second time this season — and for the same injury. Folks, that is not a good sign.
The team rushed him back the first time, and all you had to do was read Reds’ manager Bryan Price’s comments to know this was the case. Back in May, Price said he believed that Votto would not be 100 percent healthy at all during the 2014 season. As a fantasy owner, that’s definitely not what you wanna hear. Usually managers take the positive approach when discussing a player’s health.
It’s looking like the quad issue is either more serious than we were led to believe, or it’s fallout from the knee surgery Votto underwent in 2012 (the knee and quad are often directly related). After all, his numbers this year have been the worst of his career. And while his stats weren’t good prior to his first DL stint (.257/.410/.449, 6 HR, 12 RBI in 39 games), they’ve been far worse since his June 10 activation (.250/.354/.345, zero HR, 11 RBI in 23 games). To put that in context, first-base eligible guys like Chris Carter (the same Chris Carter who is hitting .189 on the season), James Loney and Logan Morrison, are all ranked higher on ESPN’s Player Rater over the last 30 days. Whatever the case may be, fantasy owners are put in a state of flux.
In May, when it was looking like he’d do the minimum DL stint, I’d say “for sure, see if you can get him on the cheap”. But that is no longer the case. I wouldn’t be touching him with a 10-foot long Skyline Chili dog right now. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who already owns him, I’m sorry to break this to you, but you’re prolly gonna have to just ride it out. It’s definitely worth it to explore trade options, but if you’re going to do so, don’t be stubborn and value him like a first-rounder, or even a 10th-rounder. Take what you can, and get out!
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