Reds' Joey Votto Expected to Miss 1 Month with Fractured Thumb Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 5, 2021

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 11: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double to right field to drive in a run against the Chicago Cubs in the third inning at Great American Ball Park on August 11, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto is expected to be out for a month after fracturing his left thumb, manager David Bell told reporters on Tuesday. 

Votto, 37, is hitting .229 to go along with five home runs and 17 RBI for the 13-15 Reds, who are third in the National League Central.

The 15-year veteran has been one of the game's best hitters since the late 2000s, batting .303 and earning a .933 lifetime OPS. The six-time All-Star has finished top seven in the MVP voting six times, winning in 2010.

Votto has experienced a regression in recent years, though, as his OPS dipped from 1.032 in 2017 to .768 overall two seasons later. Votto, who has led MLB in walks on four occasions, also struck out 123 times versus 76 bases on balls. In 2020, he hit a career-low .226.

Votto's regression isn't particularly surprising, given his age. But Votto is still a productive player and an A-plus teammate. Of note, ex-Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig said Votto is "the best guy [he's] ever met."

Without him in the lineup, the Reds can have a few options. The best one is likely moving Mike Moustakas from second base to first and inserting a to-be-determined player at second. Kyle Farmer is a top option there. The Reds can also opt to roll with Alex Blandino.