Mike Moustakas departs game with sprained right knee

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From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was removed from Saturday’s game against the Mariners because of a sprained right knee that he suffered on a diving defensive play in the first inning.

The Royals don’t seem overly concerned about the injury, but “Moose” seems likely to sit out of Sunday’s series-finale with Seattle as a precautionary measure. He was 0-for-1 on Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field before being replaced at third base by Yuniesky Betancourt.

Moustakas, 23, is batting .262/.317/.461 with 16 home runs and 50 RBI in 95 games played this season.

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UPDATE, 7:49 PM: Dutton reports that Moustakas will undergo an MRI on Sunday morning.

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.