MLB

Reds' Votto eyes rebound from 'shock' of disappointing 2018 season

Joey Votto has spent the off-season trying to make sure he doesn't have another subpar season. The Cincinnati Reds star from Toronto hit only 12 homers in 2018, his fewest in a full season, and batted .284, his lowest since 2014.

Canadian 1st baseman spent off-season refining swing

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is looking to rebound from a subpar 2018 season that saw the Toronto native post a .284 batting average, the 35-year-old’s lowest since 2014. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images/File)

Joey Votto has spent the off-season trying to make sure he doesn't have another subpar season.

The Cincinnati Reds star led the National League in on-base percentage last year but hit 12 homers, his fewest in a full season, and batted .284, his lowest since 2014. He had 67 runs batted in.

"It was the first year where I had a poor offensive year," the Toronto native said. "It is hard to speak on this without sounding arrogant. I've always performed at a certain level. Last year was a bit of a shock. I didn't perform anywhere near to what I'm used to."

Votto, who turns 36 in September, was hit on the right knee by a pitch from Ryan Madson in August and went on the disabled list. His numbers were down even before the injury.

Votto hit 37 homers during his 2010 NL MVP season and had 36 in 2017 with 100 RBI. He spent this off-season refining his swing.

"I did things differently, so I hope it works," Votto said from the Reds' spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz. "Intuitively, I know why I wasn't ready and came up short last year. I just made sure I didn't do that again and learn from my mistakes. I feel very confident. I'm excited to work."

Overhauled roster

Votto is owed $25 million US annually through 2023, and the Reds have a $20 million option for 2024 with a $7 million buyout. He has spoken over the years about his desire to help the Reds become a winning team again.

Cincinnati overhauled its roster following its fourth straight season of 94 or more losses, adding starting pitchers Alex Wood, Sonny Gray and Tanner Roark along with outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.

"We've added all-stars," Votto said. "We've added guys with long track records. They have a lot of things to gain by playing very well here. Hopefully, we carry that into a winning performance."

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