This was originally published in The Athletic.
Joey Votto turned 35 years old on Monday, a milestone he celebrated with his third consecutive multi-RBI game in a 10-6 Reds win over the Dodgers. It’s a birthday that, for me, brought to mind two questions:
What kind of birthday present do you buy for someone whose career earnings have already surpassed $128 million?
How, in the coming years, will the Reds handle having an older, probably less productive, still expensive Joey Votto?
As he officially hits the midway point of his 30s, Votto is putting up numbers this season that are dwarfed by the ridiculous totals he’s posted throughout his career. He’s not having a bad season by any normal stretch, but Votto has never been a normal hitter. He does remain one of baseball’s most difficult batters to retire, but as C. Trent Rosecrans outlines, Votto’s power numbers are down this season. Votto’s OPS is more than a hundred points below his career average. A career .311 hitter, he has a batting average that has spent a much of the season stuck in the .280s. He went more than a month’s worth of games between homers, and barring a sudden power surge, Votto will finish 2018 well below 20 homers after blasting 36 last season. Many of his numbers look, uh, normal.
To read more, go to The Athletic.
(Photo: Getty Images)