Page last updated on Mon Nov 30 19:17:49 EST 2015
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 02:30 AM EDT

Reds first baseman Joey Votto will have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, leaving the National League Central leaders without their best hitter for the following 3 to 4 weeks.

The 2010 NL MVP hurt the knee while sliding into 3rd base June 29 in San Francisco, but has continued playing.

A medical exam detected the tear and Votto will have arthroscopic surgery.

GM Walt Jocketty said Votto did not have an MRI earlier as the first baseman didn’t think he needed one.

”He didn’t request it until then,” Jocketty asserted. ”He stated that it wasn’t an issue until the last couple of days.”

Votto decided to have the surgery. Jocketty asserted it’s an easy procedure that takes only 20 to 30 mins.

”It is in my best interest and in the best interest of the team to do it now so that I can be healthy during the last two months of the flag race,” Votto declared in a statement.

Votto is batting .342 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs. He leads the National League in doubles, walks, on-base percentage and extra-base hits.

”We’ll see what we will do internally, in the beginning,” Jocketty said. ”But it may be tricky to replace Joey Votto.”

He went hitless in his first 2 games back from the All-Star game then had a single and an RBI double during a 4-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday night that moved the Reds into sole possession of 1st place in the National League Central.

The Reds didn’t straight away make a move to replace him on the roster. Baseball lines

Reds has been in 1st place for 46 days because of its pitching and the National League’s top defense. The Cincinnati Reds have used only 5 starters, a modern franchise record this deep into the season, and their bullpen is the best in the league.

The offense has struggled, ranking in the middle of the league and the loss of Votto costs the team its most consistent hitter.

Votto was named MVP after the Reds’ run to the National League Central title in 2010, but Cincinnati got swept by Philadelphia in the 1st round of the playoffs.

He was given a 10 year contract extension prior to the start of this season that added $225 million to his deal.

Now, the Reds will find out quite how much he means to the franchise. They lost their 1st game without him, 5-3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

”He’s an MVP, a Gold Glover. What more can you ask in a guy?” related Todd Frazier, who filled in first base. ”Injuries are big in baseball. He’s got that presence. Whenever he’s out there, he will do damage.”

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo saw Votto a little before the game and got the bad news at once.

”He looked funny,” declared Arroyo, who lasted only 3 innings. ”I recounted, ‘Are you playing?’ He said, ‘No, I require surgical treatment.’ At this time of year, if we are able to keep strain on the other teams in our division and stay in the race – if we can weather the storm – he could give us a lift when he returns.”

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