Reds’ Joey Votto tests negative for COVID-19

After a coronavirus scare over the weekend, Joey Votto got some good news on Monday

Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto dealt with his COVID-19 symptoms about as well as any MLB team could hope for, self-reporting the issues to his manager and taking a hiatus from the squad until he could guarantee some level of clearance. On Monday, that assurance came in the form of a negative test result, meaning Votto will be able to rejoin the Reds within the next week, assuming everything goes according to plan.

Votto was replaced by pitcher Anthony DeSclafani on the roster, who happened to pitch five scoreless innings as part of the Reds doubleheader sweep of the Tigers on Sunday. Essentially, this worked out about as well as it could have for Cincinnati.

With the return of Votto, the Reds can turn around their mediocre start to the season

Sure, the Reds are just 4-5 on the year, but expectations were sky high heading into the season, especially with a revamped pitching staff and one of the more powerful lineups in all of baseball. In Nicholas Castellanos’ homecoming in MoTown, they flashed just a bit of that potential, winning both seven-inning games.

Votto wasn’t the first player on the Reds roster to self-report symptoms, indicating a culture of understanding in the clubhouse. Mike Moustakas, one of Cincinnati’s prized free agent signings this offseason, reported he was experiencing symptoms just a few weeks ago. Thankfully, he has also tested negative and and missed just three games.

Votto, like most of the Reds, had a slow start to the year. In seven games, Votto has a .259 batting average with two home runs and seven RBIs. Such a modest statline isn’t expected out of one of the premiere hitters in all of baseball, but perhaps now with a giant load off his shoulders, Votto can refocus and get back to his All-Star level of play.