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Would be Amazing for Joey Votto and Reds to make Postseason

Joey Votto in Reds pregame prior to series opener at Citi Field this past Friday September 15th - Image Credit: Latino Sports

FLUSHING, NY — Cincinnati’s Joey Votto is trying to push the Reds into MLB’s Postseason. At 40-years-old, this could be one of his last opportunities to play in October baseball. Votto is a veteran leader on this Reds team, spending his whole 17-year career with the organization, which features six All-Star Game appearances, a National League MVP in 2010 and a NL Gold Glove award nomination in 2011. 

This past Friday, September 15th on Roberto Clemente Day, as the Reds played the New York Mets at Citi Field, I had the chance to catch up with Votto prior to Latino Sports presenting the 2022 National League LatinoMVP Relief/Closer Award to Mets’ Edwin Díaz.

Maz Adams, Artist and Julio Pabón, Latino Sports President handing Edwin Díaz his 2022 N.L. LatinoMVP Award – Image Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Votto said it would be “amazing” to push the Reds into the postseason and that it would rank high up on his career accomplishments. Cincinnati has made the playoffs three times during Votto’s career — 2020, 2013, and 2010.

The left-handed slugger Votto, is having a down year for his standards with a batting average of .208 and an OPS of .767 in 192  at-bats. Although it must be noted, he had offseason shoulder surgery and didn’t play his first game until June 19th. Additionally, Votto went on the IL again on August 14th and returned on September 10th.

Joey Votto – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

Overall, the Reds are 79-72 and are in a crowded National League Wild Card race. The Reds are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the final spot. The Miami Marlins trail the Reds and Cubs by half a game in the standings. The Arizona Diamondbacks have a 0.5-game lead for the second spot and the Philadelphia Phillies have a four-game lead at the top of the NL Wild Card.

On the season, Votto has 14 home runs and 37 RBI — he went 2-8 with a walk in two games against the Mets over the weekend. Votto went two-for-four with two RBI in a 7-3 win in a crucial series against the Minnesota Twins on Monday September 18th at Great American Ballpark. Some of Votto’s career numbers are 356 home runs, 1,141 RBI, a .295 batting average, and an OPS of .921.

Elly De La Cruz’ first visit to Citi Field 

Before the game on Friday September 15 (Roberto Clemente Day), Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz was seen signing autographs for kids. He went 2-8 within two games throughout the series in Flushing, Queens. The 21-year-old, a native of Sabana de Boya, Dominican Republic, has 11 home runs and an OPS of .704 in 349 at-bats this season.

Harrison Bader returns to New York

Outfielder Harrison Bader made his return to New York with the Reds and didn’t record a hit in seven at-bats during the series. On the positive side, he stole a base as a pinch runner in the second game of the series on Saturday September 16th. 

But, the following day, September 17th, Bader was removed from the game and placed on the 10-day IL with a groin strain retroactive to September 18th. The 29-year-old, who is a New York native, has hit seven home runs, stolen 20 bases, with an OPS of .622 in 95 games this season, majority with the New York Yankees — he has also thrown out three runners and has a fielding percentage of .975 in center field throughout 2023. 

Former Yankee Harrison Bader was picked up on waivers by Cincinnati in early September of 2023 – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

This Reds team has the right mix of youth headlined by De La Cruz along with the veteran leadership of Votto, and Bader, but will it be enough to push them into MLB’s Postseason?

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