Votto to miss rest of season with shoulder injury

Reds first baseman will have surgery Friday.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, he announced Wednesday, and will miss the rest of the 2022 season.

Votto will undergo surgery Friday. He said the rehabilitation process will last six months.

“I don’t know how to explain it, like what exactly happened, but it’s been lingering for a while,” Votto told reporters in Cincinnati after the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 at Great American Ball Park, “and I’ve had a difficult time with it.”

Votto, 38, has spent his entire career with the Reds. This is his 16th season. He’s a six-time all-star who won the National League MVP award in 2010. He has one year remaining — plus a club option for 2024 — on the 10-year, $225,000,000 contract he signed in 2012.

A career .297 hitter, Votto hit .205 in 91 games this season. He had an on-base percentage of .319, the lowest of his career.

This will be the first time Votto has played in fewer than 100 games in a 162-game season since 2014 when he was limitedf to 62 games because of a quadriceps injury and didn’t play after July 5.

Votto said he first injured the shoulder in 2015 but has played through the pain. He got hit by a baserunner on a play at the line.

“It bothered me for a bit afterwards,” Votto said, “but the pain subsided and the strength returned. I was able to manage it, but the doctor informed me that with these sorts of injuries at some point you hit a breaking point and you’re not able to manage it quite as well.”

Only in the last three or four months has it gotten painful to the point where it hurts even when he’s sleeping or when he tries to lift his arm. An MRI 5-10 days ago confirmed the injury.

“I’m not sure if it’s affected my performance,” Votto said. “I can’t say that. I don’t want to make an excuse. But surgery is necessary.”

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