Josh Donaldson 0-for-7 through two spring games

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A’s assistant general manager David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that Josh Donaldson would get the first shot at replacing Scott Sizemore (knee surgery) at third base.

It’s still early, and regular-season playing time is rarely dictated by spring training stats, but the 26-year-old former catcher is not off to a good start.

Donaldson went hitless in Saturday’s spring exhibition game against the Mariners and is now 0-for-7 with three strikeouts since the opening of Cactus League play. Eric Sogard, who might be next in line for playing time at the hot corner, went 2-for-4 in Saturday’s game and homered in his debut Friday.

Donaldson batted .261/.344/.439 with 17 homers and 70 RBI in 115 games last year at Triple-A Sacramento.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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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.