Joey Votto returned to Sports Talk Monday night:
*Where he stays during spring training and why.
*Playing with Scott Rolen being the best thing that ever happened to him.
*His relationship with Dusty Baker and their differences when it came to Joey's approach at the plate.
*His reaction to Walt telling me if Joey doesn't want to change his approach in certain situations, he might have to change spots in the batting order.
*How much he knows about the new coaching staff. (I spit out my Diet Coke at his answer)?
*Why he struggled with his defense last year.
*Thoughts on Bronson Arroyo's departure.
*What he thinks happens with Homer Bailey.
*His struggles with former GM Dan O'Brien's 'take a strike' mandate for the minor league system, and how it actually made him a better player.
*Playing basketball and trying football in high school.
*Homering in his final high school at-bat and what he did for the only time in his life.
*Who he thinks are the Top 3 players in the game today.
*Reaction to the Aroldis Chapman ESPN The Magazine story.
Votto believes he was working on his best season in 2012, prior to the knee injury.
He's often mentioned the pace he was on that season, and how nobody was talking about his RBI total at that point in 2012. I looked at his numbers on the night he injured his knee in San Francico. Here is the pace he was on for 162 games:
.350-.471-.632-1.103, 70 2B, 29 HR, 99 RBI, 126 BB, 128 K, 105 R.
He says his knee feels "fantastic". Would you be happy if he returned to that level of play?