Except his classmates won’t return.
It’s a crude analogy, because the Reds are actually hosting a regular number of players in spring training.
But the best and most talented players on the 2021 roster, or most of them, are gone.
The Reds decided to rebuild, and traded several talented pieces, virtually leaving Votto alone.
FOX’s MLB account posted a video of Votto riding around the Reds’ camp alone, in a pretty accurate portrait of the their 2022 campaign.
They see me rollin' 🎶
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 23, 2022
Yes, the Reds do have reigning Rookie of the Year Jonathan India and pitchers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, but if it weren’t for the Pittsburgh Pirates, they would probably be a last-place team in the NL Central.
The Reds Left Votto Alone In The Middle Of A Rebuild
Votto, who is 38 and has a big contract paying him $25 million per year until 2024 (with an option for 2025), is difficult to move for a myriad of reasons.
Finances and decline (although he had a very nice 2021 campaign) are the two most obvious, but he will most likely retire as a Red for life.
He remains a very productive hitter, though, one who was able to identify deficiencies in his swing and completely overhaul it last year to get better results.
He hit 36 home runs in 2017, but couldn’t get even 20 ever since… until 2021.
He said he focused on hitting the ball with authority, and it worked, as he hit 36 round-trippers with a solid .266/.375/.563 line.
They definitely left Votto alone in a rebuild.