Adjustments helping Votto rediscover power
CINCINNATI -- There has been noticeable power coming from the bat of Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Of his three home runs in the last four games, two came on Sunday and Monday while hitting in the No. 2 spot.
Of course, shifting up one place in the lineup has little to do with Votto driving the ball better.
"There's zero correlation with the lineup change. I felt like I was getting there," Votto said on Tuesday before resuming Monday's game suspended by rain.
Votto's recent success, he believes, is more a manifestation of the extra time he put into his swing during Spring Training. On multiple occasions, he requested extra at-bats in spring games he wasn't scheduled to play. He also put in overtime working in the cage and watching video of his 2013 swing. Last season, while he hit .305, his power numbers were down with 24 home runs, 73 RBIs and a .491 slugging percentage.
"There were a couple of things I was doing that I wasn't doing in previous years, when I was having a lot of success driving the ball," Votto said. "I feel better in that regard."
Votto's first homer of the season on Friday was driven the opposite way to left field vs. the Rays. On Sunday, he drove a two-run shot to center field, and on Monday in the rainy fifth inning vs. the Pirates, he drove a first-pitch from Bryan Morris for a no-doubt two-run homer to right field.
Votto made some mechanical adjustments to make his swing more consistent with his earlier seasons.
"I was weight shifting, transferring too much weight and I wasn't rotating as much," Votto said. "I had too much weight going from back leg to front leg, instead of holding the weight in my back leg and then rotating. That's the biggest difference. I saw that all year last year. I wasn't running into that problem in 2012 before the [left knee] injury, or 2011 and 2010."