Reds first baseman Joey Votto has a .320 batting average, a .423 on-base percentage that ranks second in the majors, a .590 slugging percentage, 33 home runs and 101 RBI this season over 490 at-bats.
Still not convinced that Votto is one of the top hitters in all of baseball? Try this:
According to Rob Neyer of ESPN.com, the Cincinnati slugger has yet to hit an infield pop-up this season. Seriously.
FanGraphs, an excellent resource for stats both advanced and old-fashioned, has Votto at a 0.0% IFFB (infield fly ball) rate this season over 581 plate appearances. The great Albert Pujols has a 13.5% IFFB this year. American League MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera has a 7.5% IFFB. Josh Hamilton has a 3.3% IFFB.
Votto hit walkoff home run in the 10th inning of Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Pirates. His Reds currently own a seven-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central and appear to be locked in for their first postseason appearance since 1995. Votto and his smooth swing might just nab the NL MVP.
h/t Baseball Think Factory
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.
Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.
With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.