Saturday February 21st, 2015

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto responded to conversation about his hitting approach on Saturday, calling some questions "silly" and "ignorant."

Some debate was prompted last week when Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman said the Reds would be "in deep trouble" if Votto remained "content" to lead the team in on-base percentage. On Saturday, when Votto reported early to Reds spring training, he responded to general conversation about him reaching out of the strike zone in RBI situations.

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"It's to be expected because I'm the guy who has the big contract," he said, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. "There are times when it can be a big nuisance because I have to answer questions. But most of it's noise. I think that I've proven when healthy that I'm a healthy part of the team.

"But, in terms of like ... I've got to be careful about what I say here ... but being in the middle of it sometimes I think it's really, really silly. I'm not going to use the word ignorant — but ignorant.

Votto is the leader among active players in on-base percentage at .417. He is coming off a season in which he was limited to 62 games by a quadriceps injury, but in 2013 he was an All-Star for the fourth straight season, appearing in all 162 games while hitting .305 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI and a NL-leading .435 on-base percentage.

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Votto did say that Reds legend Pete Rose had reached out and supported his hitting approach.

"I did see that," Votto said. "Pete always been very generous."

Votto, 31, is due $213 million through 2023. He also has a team option for 2024, which would be his age-40 season.

Mike Fiammetta

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