Tag:Joey Votto
Posted on: September 10, 2010 8:26 pm

Rockies' Cook expects to miss rest of 2010

Aaron Cook Anyone who saw video of Joey Votto's one-hopper off the leg of Rockies starter Aaron Cook did a double-take when they saw the words from manager Jim Tracy that his season may not be over.

Cook suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula on Wednesday. He says he'll try to return this season, but doesn't sound too convinced of it in this article by the Denver Post 's Jim Armstrong .
"I'll do everything I can and hope for the best, but I guess, being realistic, get ready for spring training," Cook said. "It's disappointing, but I'm a baseball player. That's baseball." Cook was in his second start after a minor-league rehab assignment. Cook has been on the disabled list five times in his career, but this is his first broken bone, he said. He will wear a protective book for four weeks.

Cook added that Votto left a message for him with a  Rockies official.
"He made a phone call to say he felt bad," Cook said. "I guess he said he didn't do it on purpose. As if anybody would do anything like that on purpose."
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 10, 2010 5:29 pm

Red gives MVP nod to CarGo

Brandon Phillips Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips may not win Teammate of the Year for 2010, but you've got to give him credit for being honest.

First off, he had the whole incident that fired up the Cardinals, calling them "little bitches " and now when asked about the MVP, he's not even picking his own teammate.

Appearing on 104.3 the Fan in Denver (via SportsRadioInterviews.com ), Phillips picked the hometown boy -- Carlos Gonzalez over Joey Votto for MVP.

He was asked who is the MVP and said this:
"You want to know the truth, man? I'm a very honest, blunt person and honestly I believe CarGo is the man. He's hitting .340 … he's chasing the triple crown. If he leads in most of the categories of the triple crown, you've gotta lean that way. But it's not over 'til it's over." Phillips' Cincinnati teammate is tied with Gonzalez for the RBI lead (100) and is also tied in home runs (32). Gonzalez has a better average (.337) and slugging percentage (.614) but Votto leads the league in on-base percentage (.423) and OPS (1.013). Gonzalez's on-base percentage is .374. But that doesn't mean much to Phillips, a lead-off man who has in the past said , "I don't believe in that on-base percentage stuff. That's overrated to me. If you get hits, you'll be on base. That's what it's about."

Gonzalez does lead the NL in hits (173), while Phillips and Votto are tied for sixth (156).

You gotta give Phillips credit for honest -- if not diplomacy, but we already knew that wasn't one of his strong suits.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:36 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 11:37 am

Infante could play Triple Crown spoiler

Omar Infante
There's a lot of talk about whether Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto or Albert Pujols can jump up and claim the Triple Crown in the National League, but keep an eye on the Braves' Omar Infante.

The red-hot infielder has become the Braves' regular second baseman, and has a chance of finishing with the 502 plate appearances required to qualify for the batting title. Entering play Thursday, Infante had a .342 average, two points ahead of qualified leader Gonzalez, and had 407 plate appearances, leaving him 95 short with 22 games left on Atlanta's schedule. That's 4.3 plate appearances per game, not impossible if he starts every game.

If he keeps hitting the way he has been -- he's batting .373 in the past 28 days -- he could even win the batting title without getting 502 appearances. If a player falls short, baseball credits him with hitless at-bats up to the needed number. If, for instance, he finished with 495 plate appearances but an 0-for-7 would still leave him with the lead, he would be awarded the title. Tony Gwynn won the NL batting title in 1996 with only 498 plate appearances.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 9, 2010 1:17 am

Cook suffers fractured fibula

Aaron Cook If you can't beat 'em, bean 'em.

Colorado Rockies starter -- and Hamilton, Ohio native -- Aaron Cook improved to 4-0 in his career against his hometown team on Wednesday, but he didn't get to enjoy it.

Cook was knocked out of the game in the sixth inning -- not by a barrage of runs, but by a Joey Votto one-hopper that hit him in the lower right leg.

According to the Denver Post 's Jim Armstrong , Cook suffered a non-displaced fracture of the right fibula. Jim Tracy told the media it may not be season-ending.

"We're going to have to deal with that and see where it takes us as far as time frame and things like that," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We have to take it a day at a time and see where that all goes."

Cook won back-to-back games for the first time this season, having beaten the Padres in his first game off the disabled list last week. Cook missed a month with a right toe injury.

"It's pretty sad," catcher Miguel Olivo said. "He's pitching so well right now. His sinker has been really good and his slider has been amazing. We're going to miss him a lot."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 8, 2010 10:20 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 10:38 pm

CarGo's splits may hurt MVP chances

Carlos Gonzalez For so long we heard about the possibility of a triple crown this year -- Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton -- but with a month left to go in the season, the most likely candidate to do so is Carlos Gonzalez.

Gonzalez entered Wednesday's games first in average (.340) and RBI (100) and three behind in home runs (32 -- although Pujols hit his league-leading 36th in the first inning of the Cardinals' game on Wednesday). But even if Gonzalez does pull off the triple crown, his shot at the MVP is still in doubt.

The reason? Coors Field.

Gonzalez is no doubt a good player, but he has to be helped by playing there. His splits show he has certainly benefitted from the Rocky Mountain air -- he's hitting .394/.440/.801 at home and .288/.310/.450 on the road. 25 of his 32 homers (78 percent) -- and 66 of his 100 RBI (66 percent) -- have come at home, despite playing four fewer games at Coors Field than on the road.

Chipper Jones, who lost out on the 2007 batting title to then-Rockie Matt Holliday, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Coors Field is inflating Gonzalez's numbers.

"If [Gonzalez] is doing the same thing on the road that he's doing at home, I'd be glad to give him credit," Jones told the AJC's Carroll Rogers. "And he's a tremendous player, don't get me wrong, but the numbers. He's hitting like .390 at home with 25 homers and 65 ribbies."

Votto's home park isn't exactly a pitcher's paradise, either. Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the majors, but he's hitting even better on the road than he is at home. At GABP, Votto's hitting .305/.402/.571 and away from GABP, he's hitting .336/.440/.612. His 32 homers are evenly split at 16 at home and 16 on the road.

Asked about Gonzalez's advantage, Votto sidestepped the question.

"I'd rather not comment on that," Votto told the Denver Post 's Jim Armstrong .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 3, 2010 2:26 pm

Checking out the NL MVP race

The NL MVP race is essentially a foregone conclusion now that the Cardinals continue to sink deeper and deeper in the NL Central Division, leaving Joey Votto's sublime season to shine as the Reds eye their first postseason appearance since 1995.

Votto is second in batting average, third in home runs and first in RBI, giving him a very real chance at the Triple Crown, although the top candidates in each category are so closely bunched together that it only takes a few games for standings to switch around.

Even if Votto has to be considered the prohibitive favorite, there are others that will leech votes from Votto. Let's break down who appear to be the strongest candidates.

Adrian Gonzalez 1B Adrian Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
.299/.388/.516, 76 R, 26 2B, 27 HR, 87 RBI, 5.5 UZR/150, 4 DRS, 4.9 WAR

Gonzalez hasn't had a season like 2009 -- but it's awfully had to replicate 2009 especially with Petco Park your home for half the games. His average is .05 points off a career high set in 2006, but his walk rate and power numbers have sank just enough that he can't be considered one of the favorites for the MVP. If -- or when -- Gonzo gets out of a Padres uniform, he'll likely win a MVP award.

Carlos Gonzalez LF/CF/ RF Carlos Gonzalez
Colorado Rockies
.332/.367/.610, 89 R, 26 2B, 8 3B, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 20 SB -6.8 UZR/150, -6 DRS, 4.5 WAR

CarGo has had a ridiculous season, and now the Diamondbacks and Athletics have to be kicking themselves for giving up on Gonzalez too soon. The knock on the outfielder was that his poor plate discipline wouldn't be enough to overcome his other attributes... except his power has taken a massive jump to elite status even as he takes a step back in walk rate from a 2009 mark of 8.8 percent to 5.5 percent. Gonzalez will lose votes thanks to his drastic home/road split. At Coors Field, he's bashing to a .391/.436/.790 mark. On the road, he's at .275/.296/.437 and has a walk rate of 3.1 percent as compared to 7.9 percent at home. Seems like he knows he doesn't perform away from Coors and is pressing as a result.

Aubrey Huff 1B/LF/RF Aubrey Huff
San Francisco Giants

.289/.385/.512, 82 R, 30 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 77 RBI, 11.5 UZR/150 (1B), 7 DRS (1B), 3.6 UZR/150 (OF), 4 DRS (OF), 4.7 WAR

Huff will garner a ton of "feel-good" votes as the 11-season veteran suffered through the worst OPS of his career in 2009 since his first full season in the majors with Tampa Bay in 2001. A late-season switch to Detroit only depressed his value even more, and he signed a small deal with the Giants with his tail tucked between his legs. Well, his chest is puffed out now as he's cobbled together nothing short of a fantastic year while splitting time between first, left and right and being solid with the glove. That versatility only adds to his value and he could surprise quite a few people with how high he could finish in MVP balloting.

Brian McCann C Brian McCann
Atlanta Braves
.285/.392/.492, 55 R, 21 2B, 20 HR, 71 RBI, 3 DRS, 5.1 WAR

McCann has constantly been overlooked as a premium power bat at a position where even a league-average bat is considered fantastic. Perhaps now that McCann has emerged as Atlanta's best hitter as the team leads the division will garner some MVP honors for the lefty. The scary part is that McCann hasn't even sniffed his career season, which came in his first full year as the starting catcher (.333/.388/.572) -- and no MVP votes. What does McCann have to do to get some respect? Is it the counting numbers -- runs and RBI being too low? The fact is that McCann is a catcher, and so naturally loses about 100-200 plate appearances due to needing to be rested more often. The NL lacking a DH compounds the problem for McCann. Don't hold his low counting statistics against him, not when his actual production is so high, and extraordinary for a catcher.

Albert Pujols 1B Albert Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
.313/.407/.593, 92 R, 31 2B, 35 HR, 95 RBI, 12 SB, 1.9 UZR/150, 2 DRS, 5.8 WAR

Pujols is still a fantastic hitter, but has three things working against him in pursuit of a third-straight MVP award: 1) General apathy by voters in voting for him again, 2) The Cardinals slip-slidin' away in the NL Central Division race and 3) Votto's superhuman efforts causing Pujols to no longer be head-and-shoulders above anyone else. Whether deserved or not, the first issue would probably have torpedoed his chances even if the Cards were neck-and-neck with Cincinnati.

Joey Votto 1B Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds
.325/.424/.603, 91 R, 27 2B, 32 HR, 97 RBI, 12 SB, 3.8 UZR/150, -3 DRS, 6.3 WAR

Yep, Votto's the presumptive favorite for the NL MVP Award -- but this is far from his introduction to being a top hitter. He finished 22nd in MVP balloting last season when he checked in at .322/.414/.567 and lost out on the Rookie of the Year Award in 2008 to the Cubs' Geovany Soto. His rookie season boasted a line of .297/.368/.506 as a 24-year-old, which many veterans would kill to have in just one prime season. He doesn't show any signs of slowing down and will give Pujols a tough road to any future MVP awards.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 10:09 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 12:55 pm

Pujols, Votto battling for Triple Crown lead

Albert Pujols Albert Pujols went 3 for 5 with a home run in Monday night's victory over the Pirates for the Cardinals. The performance was enough to vault Pujols into the league-lead for homers and RBI, pushing his average to .319, four points behind league-leader Joey Votto.

Yes, Albert Pujols, on pace for his third-worst OPS in his career, is a viable contender for a Triple Crown with a .319/.413/.600 mark, bashing 32 home runs and posting 92 RBI.

If Pujols can somehow leapfrog Votto (with Martin Prado one percentage point ahead of Pujols as well), he would be the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. He has some work on his hands to overcome Votto as well as potentially navigate Omar Infante. While Infante is likely to miss the cut-off to qualify for the batting title by about 60-80 at-bats, there is still a way for the .350-hitting utility infielder to win the title. If his batting average still leads the competition after adjusting up to the threshold with hitless appearances, Infante would win.

So say Infante finishes 70 at-bats short with a .350 average. Adding 80 hitless at-bats to get him to the 502 at-bat threshold puts him with a .295 batting average, so Infante's not likely to win out.

Pujols has a four-RBI lead ahead of the Reds' Votto, and a one-home run lead over Adam Dunn. He'll have stiff competition down to the wire, but it's looking like Pujols is an extremely viable candidate to tab perhaps baseball's most coveted milestone. The good news for those rooting for Phat Albert is that he is heating up -- after a season-low .848 OPS in July, Pujols has roared back with a 1.351 mark in August, hitting .425/.488/.863.

Pujols will have competition for that mark, however, the aforementioned Votto, pacing the NL in batting average and just behind Pujols in RBI, has 29 home runs, which is four behind Pujols. A well-timed hot streak could vault Votto atop the leaderboards in every category in what is the 26-year-old's MVP-caliber year.

As if a race to the wire for Triple Crown honors in the NL wasn't enough, the AL is working on its own Triple Crown candidate. Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers -- although he falls further and further out of the race through no fault of his own.

Cabrera is hitting .341/.437/.634 -- all better marks than Pujols... except Cabrera has to contend with two of the hottest hitters in the game. Josh Hamilton is lapping the field with a .357 batting average, a filthy .409 since June 1. On the home-run side of the ledger, his 31 home runs are just one behind Pujols... and nine behind Jose Bautista, who bashed two against the Yankees Monday.

At least Cabrera can find solace in his league-leading 103 RBI.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:51 am

Reds OF suddenly thin

As if the scoreboard wasn't bad enough for the Reds Monday night in San Francisco, the National League Central leaders lost two outfielders with injuries in their 11-2 loss in San Francisco.

Laynce Nix left the game in the third inning after spraining his left ankle going from first to third on Joey Votto's ground rule double.

In the sixth inning, Jim Edmonds left mid-at-bat with a strained right oblique and was replaced by Drew Stubbs.

The Reds entered the game with six outfielders and left with four -- Stubbs, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey and Jonny Gomes. The team doesn't have any more outfielders left on their 40-man roster, which was already stretched thin with the Major League deals given to two of the last three first-round draft picks -- first baseman Yonder Alonso (2008) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (2010).

Former Mariners prospect Wladimir Balentien is having a very good season at Triple-A Louisville (.284/.342/.532 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI), but isn't not he 40-man roster. Alonso and Juan Francisco have played the outfield this season, but those experiments were abandoned.

The Giants have  surplus of outfielders now that Cody Ross joined the team, perhaps they can loan one to the Reds for a game or two.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com