Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto missed 49 games in 2012 due to injury.
After his return to the lineup he failed to hit a home run even though he had 105 plate appearances, begging the question, "Has he lost his power?"
He went on the Disabled List on July 16 and didn't return until September 5.
The team did very well in his absence, posting a record of 33-16 thanks to some great offensive production by Ryan Ludwick, Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips.
Votto's average dropped a tad, but his OBP actually improved after the layoff.
The alarming fact here is that he had never gone more than 20 games without leaving the yard in his MLB career. He is currently on a 40-game skid without a home-run which will carry on into 2014.
His last round-tripper was on June 24 against the Minnesota Twins at GABP.
The home runs are not the only tool missing from his kit. His ISO (isolated power) prior to 2012 was .236. Prior to his injury he had an ISO of .262 for the year. After the injury it plummeted to an all-time low of .105.
Is Votto still a great baseball player? Of course he is, the best first baseman in the National League.
Hopefully the power will come back to him as he was probably apprehensive about another injury.
Votto was such a powerful hitter before, taking most of his home runs to left and center field. I can't remember the last time I saw him pull the ball for a home run.
The pace he was on before the 2012 campaign began was over 31 homers per 162 games. His pace for last year on its own merit was not quite 23. That is a substantial difference.
There is still plenty of pop in the Reds lineup with Jay Bruce, Frazier, Phillips and perhaps Ludwick. The Reds will be fine even if he produces only one third of the long balls we have been accustomed to.
Is there cause for worry? Let's wait and see.