Reds first baseman Joey Votto drew a walk in the first inning and walked again in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Cubs. That marked the 20th consecutive game in which he has reached base twice, leaving him one shy of the modern era record Ted Williams set in 1948. The last hitter to reach base twice in 20 consecutive games was Barry Bonds in 2004.
In the 19 previous games, Votto was batting .450/.612/.767 with 23 walks, four doubles, five home runs, 14 RBI, and 17 runs scored in 85 plate appearances. On the season, Votto entered the night batting .317/.447/.603 with 31 home runs, 83 RBI, and 82 runs scored in 519 PA.
Votto has certainly put up MVP-esque numbers, but he has a lot of competition in the National League in Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Giancarlo Stanton, among others.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.