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Friday, August 22, 2014

Votto appears. . .and speaks | The Real McCoy | Cincinnati Reds baseball news

Doesn’t Joey Votto know it’s only a flesh wound!!

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:41 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joey votto, reds

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   1. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4777184)
Doesn’t Joey Votto know it’s only a flesh wound!!

   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 22, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4777239)
Of his return date, Votto said, “I’m not really certain. I don’t have an answer for that.” That, of course, is in the hands of Mother Nature.

“I am doing better and it is a day-by-day sort of thing,” he added. “Day-by-day gets your closer every day. I’m doing everything I can to get back on the field as soon as possible. I’m rehabbing every day. I am moving forward, doing everything they are asking of me.”

THE FRUSTRATION LEVEL is evident as he talks, knowing he has watch what the Reds are enduring these days without him, 10 losses in their last 12 games and a slide-for-life from 1 ½ games behind at the All-Star break to 10 behind after going 10-22 after the break.

“It is pretty frustrating, it is not fun to come in here and not play,” he said. “I’m not used to coming in here and being in a position (of not playing). He doesn’t feel good and it has been frustrating. I wish I was on the field doing my part, helping the team out. Unfortuantely, I’m not able to. I’m trying to get to a point where I can come back and help the team out and plauy like everybody is used to me playing.”

Votto paused for emphasis, sighed briefly, and said, “I’m not there yet.”

due to come back sept 4th. not looking good.
   3. hokieneer Posted: August 22, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4777276)
It would be all too easy for the Reds' FO to blame the 2014 season on injuries. Even fully healthy I'm not sure this team is much of playoff team. Who knows if Frazier/Hamilton/Mesoraco will produce in 2015 like they did in 2014. The depth, even going down to AAA, is awful.

Probably being overly pessimist, but I think this current window is over.
   4. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 22, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4777299)
18-31 in one run games so far this season. Top of the rotation is still excellent. Bounceback by Bruce and a close to full season of Votto could help tremendously next year. But, yeah, the Cards are never going away, the Pirates are good, the Brewers are having an excellent season, and the Cubs look like they are coming close to a 2010 Reds type run. I wouldn't be shocked if the Reds finished in last place next year (heck, the way they are going, they may end up in last place this year). I also wouldn't be shocked if they won the division in 2015.
   5. Ziggy's screen name Posted: August 22, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4777311)
Latos is around for one more year and so is Cueto. Chapman is still here, Bailey has a long-term contract, and Votto is signed forever. Mesoraco and Hamilton are young. Philips is old but still under contract. Cingrani will be back. They could probably make a run next year without being much worse-off than this year (just a little older). After that it gets dicey, because they're going to lose Latos and Cueto.
   6. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4777314)
The Reds have gone 10-23 since the all-star break. 2-13 in 1-run games!
   7. Baldrick Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4777319)
Back in March, I noted that guys who hit like Votto in their 20s have historically not really been all that great in their 30s. Helton's last big year was at 30. Griffey was basically never as good in his 30s as he had been in any year of his 20s (with the lost '95 being the only exception). Belle was great at 31, good at 32, and then driven out by his hip condition. Boggs ceased being a world class hitter in his early 30s. Eddie Murray had another couple good years in him but was average-or-worse for most of his 30s.

So I'm not particularly surprised to see this season be a bust for him. Even great hitters have a really hard time staying great in their 30s. I'm still hoping for a couple big bounce-back seasons from him. But there's a very real possibility that he'll never have another season as good as those prime years in his mid to late 20s. Unfortunately, because he's a lot of fun to watch.
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4777331)

i got a whuppin' a ways back for suggesting that the reds lineup was shallow after the big 2.5 of votto/bruce/frazier with choo leaving.

they did get a boost with mesoraco coming on strong but i need to see it for a bit more before i figure he's real and not rick wilkins.

ain't writing 'i told you so' but when three guys are the only ones who can hit unless the reds have decided to become the 1966 dodgers (which might work if the three stayed healthy and hit) the team needs to have some more offense show up at their doorstep.

because yes, this team has pitching. and the defense is there of course.

if votto had stayed healthy and bruce had hit this season the reds would be at 70 odd wins right now even with the other issues.
   9. Ziggy's screen name Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4777346)
Man, the last ten years on that Votto contract terrify me. BB-Ref says that he had 6 years of service time on opening day this year, unless he had another extension I'm forgetting about that means that he'd have left as a FA before this year. That probably would have worked out perfectly for the Reds. He was a great hitter and hall, but he's already old and he's signed through his age 39 season.
   10. Lars6788 Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4777351)
But Votto is not Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard - at times in his career he's been equal Miguel Cabrera so don't fall into the trap of labeling him anything but a great player.
   11. The Duke Posted: August 22, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4777484)
It might be an overpay for Votto, but it's not a ridiculous contract. Barring debilitating injuries he will be a great hitter for at least 7-8 years of that contract. There aren't many Vottos - some times you just have to take a chance. For the Top 10, is it ever really an overpay? They are rare beasts like an Honus Wagner baseball card.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4777542)
Let's be careful now. Votto has been an outstanding hitter but a fragile one and probably only truly great in one season.

For oWAR from ages 24-30, he's got 32 which is only 65th of the expansion era. Thanks to that fragility, he's got the same oWAR from 24-30 as Teixeira (who has 800 more PA). It's the same as Will Clark and Clark's just 300 PA ahead. It's only 1.5 oWAR ahead of Tim Salmon in roughly the same number of PA. Braun, Winfield, Giambi are in his neighborhood for oWAR and PA. Murray is 1.5 oWAR ahead in just 400 more PA; McGriff is 2 oWAR ahead in 400 PA; Berkman 2.5 WAR ahead in 400 PA.

There are a lot of guys in Votto's neighborhood who either declined as hitters or declined (further) in health or both. His power trend the last two years is worrisome.

Taking guys with 28-36 oWAR (Votto 32) from 24-30 and playing at least 50% of their games at 1B, LF or DH, expansion era:

I get 19 guys from Palmeiro at the bottom to Billy Williams at the top. Votto leads this group with a 419 OBP but Berkman at 418 and Giambi at 412 are right there and Delgado at 395 and McGriff at 390 are pretty similar ... as might be Hernandez at 397 ... I think we can agree that Raines is not a good comp for Votto. By BA he's 2nd at 310 (Holliday 317) but again Giambi 308, Berkman 306, Hernandez 306, Murray 304, W Clark 303, Palmeiro 301 are right there. Williams (293), McGriff, Delgado, McCovey, Killer are lesser comps by BA.

Looking at this group from 31-40, smack dab in the middle are Berkman and McGriff at 19-20 oWAR. The top:

Palmeiro 34 oWAR
McCovey 31
Killer 31
B Williams 29
Giambi 27

then a big drop to Raines 21, Delgado 20, McGriff, Berkman, Murray 17, W Clark 16.

Again, that's oWAR so no defensive decline (but baserunning decline). By WAA it's Palmeiro at 13, McCovey 11, Killer 10, Williams 9, Berkman 8, Giambi 7, Clark 7. Delgado was 4, Murray 0, McGriff -2.

In terms of PA, Palmeiro and Murray made it over 6000, McGriff over 5000, B Williams about 4900. There's a cluster around 4500 and the median is about 3900 (but with 600 either side of the median).

All told we're talking about guys averaging about 3 WAR per full season and about 6 full seasons from 31-40. I don't see any good reason to think that Votto, already a bit fragile, will be more durable than these guys.

I find it hard to project Votto as better than about 20 WAR from 31-40, 30 WAR if he does stay healthy. I might have more faith but the most similar guys -- Berkman, Giambi, W Clark, Hernandez, Murray -- don't stand out in this group.
   13. Ziggy's screen name Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4777598)
20 WAR for $225m would be a disaster. Even with inflation over the next decade, that would be beyond terrible. 30 WAR wouldn't be so bad. Clearly Votto is a much better player than Howard and friends, but this was an ill-advised signing.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4777850)
20 WAR for $225m would be a disaster. Even with inflation over the next decade, that would be beyond terrible.

Nah, not a disaster. 20 WAR would cost you about $120-140 M on the market in today's dollars. At 4% inflation, the quickie NPV calculator on the web put $225 at $180-185. So that's an expected loss of $4-6 M per year -- a good middle reliever or something like .6 to 1 win per year. Not good but not disaster.

It may seem disastrous in that, if it is 20 WAR, probably most of that is in the first 4 years and then you've got the long, Howard-ish crawl of 6/$135 M for next to nothing.

Even so it's not immediately clear that it was "ill-advised". It probably was but you'd want to see what the projection looked like at the time it was signed. As I said, my main "concern" about Votto is the power drop of the last couple of years. 2013-14 Votto is somewhere around Olerud to Boggs with more power but playing 1B. Although that still puts us at a projection of 20 to 30 WAR (changing Boggs from a good fielding 3B to more of an above-average fielding 1B) ... but back when Votto was putting up 220 ISOs, he probably projected better.

And of course quick and dirty comps aren't gospel. Projection models might put him at better (or worse) than the comps do. Such comp lists can be affected by fairly small changes. His power drop last year probably cost him about 1 WAR, his lost playing time this year is costing him 3-4 WAR. That would be enough to put him at the top of the oWAR comp list I generated and it brings in Helton (not good), Thome (good but not a very similar hitter) and Bagwell (good and a pretty similar hitter) as reasonable comps. (Thome 32 WAR 31-40, Bagwell 30 WAR from 31-36 then career-ending injury.)
   15. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 23, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4777937)
My not-totally-rational, but still kind of useful, instinct is that one shouldn't sign 1B to 10-year contracts, unless they become free agents at 25 or 26. Their defensive value, even if it was once high, tends to zero out pretty quickly after 30, and then it's all dependent on them maintaining enough health and a good enough BA to remain worth it. A bad bet.

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