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Cardinals recall John Gant, designate Kevin Siegrist for assignment

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The Cardinals announced on Thursday that pitcher John Gant has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Pitcher Kevin Siegrist was activated from the 10-day disabled list and designated for assignment to create roster space.

Gant, 25, has spent most of his season with Memphis. Across 18 starts, he posted a 3.83 ERA with a 99/25 K/BB ratio in 103 1/3 innings. He’ll operate out of the bullpen for the Cardinals.

Siegrist, 28, had been sidelined earlier this month with tendinitis in his left forearm. He was struggling prior to the injury, putting up a 4.98 ERA with a 36/20 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings. Siegrist has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. Given his track record, he should find a new opportunity fairly quickly.

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.