Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that the Blue Jays have shut down outfielder Rajai Davis for the remainder of the season after experiencing a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Toronto acquired Davis from the A’s in November and then signed him to a two-year, $5.75 million contract hoping that he’d get on base for the lineup’s many sluggers and inject some speed into the powerful offense.
He accomplished the speed part, swiping 34 bases in 94 games, but Davis was also thrown out 11 times and hit just .238 with a .273 on-base percentage. He’s under contract for $2.75 million next season and the Blue Jays also have a $3 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2013, but Davis figures to have a lesser role as a fourth outfielder.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.