Reds fans can finally relax. It looks like their slugger has gotten his groove back.
First baseman Joey Votto belted a two-run home run in yesterday’s Spring Training win against a split squad of Milwaukee Brewers – his first since tearing cartilage in his left knee last June. Votto had two minor operations to repair the damage to the knee, and missed 48 games between July 15 until September 6 when he returned to the Reds lineup. Despite his return, it was obvious that Votto was not 100 percent during Cincinnati’s stretch run. While he hit for good average, Votto – the MVP of the National League in 2010 – was reduced to little more than a singles hitter.
Votto’s last home run came on June 24th of last season. After an eight-month drought, Votto was aware how important the first long ball would be for fans. On February 15, he spoke with John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer about how his surgically repaired knee was doing.
“The test will be on the field,” Votto said. “I’ve got to hit that first home run, and everyone will relax.”
Votto also had an RBI groundout to cap off a three-RBI afternoon. The first baseman is off to a pretty good start this spring, batting .500 in eight plate appearances with the home run and four RBIs.