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Joey Votto is not struggling

Apr 19, 2013, 8:10 PM EDT

Joey Votto AP

The good news: most people don’t think Joey Votto — who leads baseball by a wide margin with 24 walks and a .526 on-base percentage — is really struggling.

The bad news: Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, who has a large audience and is very persuasive, thinks Votto is struggling, according to Reds blog Red Reporter.

Veteran scribe Hal McCoy does his best to dissuade the struggling Votto narrative as well, quoting manager Dusty Baker while using some good old-fashioned logic.

The thing about Votto is that he still is on base more than half the time he goes to the plate, a .521 on-base average with 22 walks. It is difficult to hit when pitchers nibble at the plate, refusing to offer tantalizing pitches to hit.

“That’s what I used to do,” said manager Dusty Baker. “We’d get 18 hits and I’d get none, then we’d get six hits and I’d have four.”

ABOUT VOTTO’S batting average, Baker said, “I’m not really worried. It’s only 50 at bats (47, actually). It’s hard to explain. Everybody is going to have his turn and Joey will have his turn because water seeks its own level.

Votto also started the 2012 season slowly, carrying a .269 average with one homer and 14 walks through his team’s first 15 games. Over his next 75 games, he hit .348 before a knee injury relegated him to the disabled list.

  1. contraryguy - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Interesting timing on the post as Votto just had one of the ugliest check-swing strikeouts in Reds vs. Marlins game tonight. The Reds have faced a fairly tough pitching schedule in the early part of the season; now they’re facing the Marlins and soon the Mets. As Dusty says, the water will find its level soon enough.

    • contraryguy - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      not the Mets, the Cubs… even better.

  2. jashton11 - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    I hope Votto keeps “struggling” with that .526 OBP all year.

  3. thon - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Uh… Votto is struggling. That he has still maintained value just speaks to his prodigious skills (and opponents’ respect for him). But he’s fighting it right now and if you watched him consistently you would know that.

  4. scoocha - Apr 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    OBP is superb, problem is if people don’t hit behind him then he’s just LOB. That’s where everyone goes crazy with OBP and devalues BAvg to too great an extent. I’m sure he’ll be fine, he’s been above average for many years and we’re 1/8 through the season. Even if his numbers drop this year, it’s just one season.

  5. hornbuckle - Apr 20, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Marty is a grumpy old man.

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