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The Votto Prognosis

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Easy now.
Easy now.

The word is out that Joey Votto had a "6-minute procedure" to remove "floating cartilage" from his injured knee. He was on the road to recovery, but according to Tom Groeschen, experienced some soreness in sliding drills. The estimate is that this setback adds "7-10 days."

Converting those estimates to reality using a helpful algorithm that assumes everyone is delusional or lying, the procedure was at least 10 minutes and Votto will be out another two weeks. I hate to be negative, but it sounds like early September to me, especially given that 10 days is the rough estimate for how long incisions take to heal.

It could be worse. We're still three days out from the late date Votto would have returned under the original estimate (August 14). Baseball Prospectus looked at the injury back in July, citing that the average recovery time for 1B with meniscus injuries is 80 days (over 11 weeks). A lower bound among the worse-case scenarios which was the minimum recovery time necessary for a direct meniscus tear: 6 weeks.

Though unlikely, Votto could still return on or around August 28, which would fall about in the middle of a trend line for the optimistic team/beat reporter estimates and the more level-headed Baseball Prospectus variety. If you tempered expectations when Votto went down, this new development doesn't change much, at least not yet. But it's still bad news.

The next question the Reds have to tackle is whether they'll make a move in response. I kinda don't think they will, but I kinda really think they should. Lyle Overbay won't save the season, but he'll at least be a marginal improvement.