Joel Peralta thinks he contracted the chikungunya virus

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Joel Peralta has been feeling sick since returning from a vacation to his home in the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break and the Rays reliever believes he contracted the chikungunya virus while there.

What’s the chikungunya virus? I had no idea, so I looked it up via the world’s most trusted source for everything, Wikipedia:

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus, of the genus Alphavirus, that is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes. CHIKV is transmitted similarly to dengue fever and causes an illness with an acute febrile phase lasting two to five days, followed by a longer period of joint pains in the extremities; this pain may persist for years in some cases.

Apparently there’s been an outbreak in the Dominican Republic recently, as Braves pitcher Ervin Santana has been tweeting about several of his family members being among the thousands of people effected. Oh, and “currently there is no specific treatment.” Woof.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays may place Peralta on the disabled list while he recovers.

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.