Did Votto actually swing less than your average player at pitches in the strike zone? I don't really get the complaints. It seemed most often like he rarely saw decent pitches. Marty loves to complain that Votto isn't Miguel Cabrera well if Prince Fielder hit behind him maybe he would look more like Cabrera. Maybe I'm wrong but I rarely felt like Votto was looking to walk as much as pitchers were looking to not pitch to him.
I can't help feeling that if Votto reacted to the pressure to drive in more runs, hit more homers, and be "more aggressive" at the plate, the results would be very similar to the numbers put up by Jay Bruce.
I don't think the Reds want him to expand his zone at all. I think they want to impress on him that the best pitch he's likely going to see may come very early in the count. Like Bonds in his last few years, Votto is only going to get maybe 1 and, at most, 2 good pitches per AB. They want him to be ready to hit them, not take them in the name of taking the count deeper.
Here's my main issue with Joey.
BA with risp
For whatever reason in 2013 he hit from 70 to 90 pts below his career norm with men in scoring position. OPSing a high number is great, but it's not the end all be all. I think reason people had many more complaints about Votto in 2013 is simply because he wasn't as clutch with men in scoring position as he has traditionally been. Is that due to pressure he's putting onto himself from his contract? Was it simply a bad year? Was it his approach at the plate? I don't know, but I have a big problem paying a guy 220 million to not hit over .300 with risp. Maybe that's wrong, but that's where I'm at.
Last edited by SidneySlicker; 10-23-2013 at 04:46 PM.
I really don't think the Reds need to "impress" anything upon Votto at all. Despite the fact that his "down" season was a better season than most major leaguers will be lucky to have as their best season, Votto was extremely disappointed with the season that he put up in 2013. That was obvious from his quote after the loss to the Pirates in the WC game. Anyone that thinks that disappointment and frustration isn't going to weigh on him over the offseason and not cause him to work hard to improve is kidding themselves and truly hasn't been paying attention to his career and development as a player.
Historically, the #3 spot is where you bat the teams best offensive threat (i.e. best hitter). Who exactly do we have on the team that is going to do a better job than Votto in that spot? I'm certainly not seeing an alternative. Brandon Phillips certainly isn't that guy, so who is?
It's kind of weird, but Jocketty sounds rejuvenated to me.
Everything is perfect, but there is a lot of room for improvement. --- Shunryu Suzuki-roshi