Jair Jurrjens hospitalized with breathing problems

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Rockies right-hander Jair Jurrjens struggled Friday in his first start in 13 months, allowing eight runs while failing to make it out of the fifth inning, and he had even more problems dealing with the altitude in Colorado.

Jurrjens was taken to the hospital during the game for what the Rockies called “breathing problems.” He’s since been released from the hospital and manager Walt Weiss told Nick Groke of the Denver Post that doctors think it had more to do with conditioning and reacting to the altitude than anything serious:

Everything is fine. He checked out all right. People react differently when they get here, with the altitude and everything. That was part of it. But everything was moving pretty fast for him. All of a sudden he was here and he was starting in a big-league game again. I’m sure things were spinning.

His next scheduled turn in the rotation would be Wednesday afternoon versus the Padres, at Coors Field, although it’s not clear if the Rockies will give Jurrjens another start considering how bad he looked in his first outing.

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.