Reds first baseman Joey Votto suffered a fractured left thumb on Wednesday, manager David Bell told C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic and other reporters. Votto will miss “weeks,” likely around a month, according to Bell.
The 37-year-old Votto incurred the injury on a fourth-inning hit by pitch from White Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel in a game the Reds ultimately won, 1-0. Votto stayed in through the fifth inning, but the Reds then replaced him with Kyle Farmer. It was a cruel way for Votto to leave the 1,800th game of his decorated career.
Votto’s injury continues what has been a tough start to the season for the former NL MVP, six-time All-Star and potential Hall of Famer. Through 118 plate appearances, Votto has batted a so-so .226/.305/.425 – a far cry from his lifetime line of .303/.418/.516. Votto’s walk and strikeout rates are also much worse than his career marks, though his bottom-line results looked due for a turnaround before Wednesday’s injury. According to Statcast, Votto ranks near the top of the league in expected slugging percentage, average exit velocity, expected weighted on-base average, hard-hit percentage and expected batting average.
Cincinnati and Votto will now have to wait even longer for a possible 180 from the franchise icon, and the Reds will have to find a replacement(s) in the meantime. Alex Blandino is the only other Red who has started a game at first base this year.