The Curious Case of Joey Votto

When building a team you are always looking for player whose card gives you “good value.” Good value is of course completely subjective and could mean different things depending on the stadium and specific meta you are building to.

But one player that caught my eye is Joey Votto. His Series One card has 15 OB for under 475 salary points. This makes him the cheapest 15 On-Base (OB) batter by 160 points, and in roster building terms 160 points is basically hitting the jackpot. However, is the rest of his card worth the salary and is he even rosterable?

On the surface Votto has a very good card. He initially checks a lot of boxes: high OB, only 4 outs, max defense at first base, positive clutch, and he is a lefty.

But then things get weird.

He has a 5-11 walk range and singles at 12-20. In the 2019 version of Clutch, not having a natural double isn’t the end of the world. But the biggest problem is having a singles/walk guy that has E (4) Speed. Sure he may get on a bunch, but with no doubles he isn’t going to drive in as many and he will “clog” up the base paths.

With Votto you have a cheap 15 OB guy who is a great defender and will get on base a ton. I think we can agree his card is a good value, but then what? What do you do with a guy who has 4 speed and where do you put him in your lineup?

Leadoff makes some sense. You could reduce the amount of times he could hit into a double play and have the two best hitters in your line up behind him to make it easier for him to score. He could act as protection to your power hitter in the 4th or 5th spot; if your opponent IBB’d the batter in front of him he would have 17 OB, which is scary no matter who you have on the mound.

I have Votto on my High Heat league team and initially I batted him second behind Jose Altuve, but after one too many auto double plays on a ground ball I swapped them in the order and that seemed to work better. He came up to bat a lot less with runners on when he hit right after the bottom part of my line up.

But even now after playing him there for almost twenty games it still doesn’t feel right. Like, am I missing something, or is he a good card without a spot in a line up?

And the thing is after a 16-game regular season and 15 games in the post season, he is putting up really good numbers for my team, with a .328/.461/.402 slash line, 30 walks, 35 singles, three doubles, two home runs, 29 runs, and 11 RBI. So it is pretty clear the card is “good,” but where does that “good make sense?

The other “problem” with his card is he doesn’t really fit into a stadium either. Cincinnati would have been the perfect park for him, but Votto is a lefty and the effect is for a righty. The only other stadiums that make him better are New York (A) and to a much lesser degree Chicago (N).

Looking at strategy cards there aren’t many that help make his card better either. On the one hand having no icons helps with his low salary, but on the other he doesn’t get any added bonuses.

Some strategy cards you might want to consider decking if you roster Votto are cards like Hit and Run, Chugga Chugga, Walk this Way, Airmailed It, Bush League, Sweet Spot, Thou Shall Not Pass, or The Wheelhouse.

Votto has a weird 2019 Clutch card. On the one hand it has great value, but on the other hand I don’t think there is an obvious way to use him. You just gotta get creative and hope it works out. I did that and he helped me win a championship, so hey, it might not be the worst plan.

What do you think of Votto’s card and what spot would you place him in your line up? Comment below.

The New Era of Clutch Media

Hello and welcome to the new era of Clutch Media. I am Matt Slagle, manager of the San Diego Armada (defending Champions of the High Heat league) and everybody’s favorite podcast host. Click here to read about all the exciting changes coming on the Clutch Media front.

Hello and welcome to the new era of Clutch Media. I am Matt Slagle, manager of the San Diego Armada (defending Champions of the High Heat league) and everybody’s favorite podcast host.

I started the Unofficial Clutch Podcast a little over a year ago as a way to connect with other Clutch Managers and to discuss and debate the game we love (and sometimes hate). After 16 episodes it is time to take inventory and make it that much better.

In short, the Unofficial Clutch Podcast is no more. The corporate overlords at Clutch HQ have bought my unwavering loyalty and now we are the officially licensed podcast of Clutch Baseball. What does this mean to you? Without going into too many boring details, not much. The podcast will live on with me as the main host and a rotating cast of characters joining each episode. From the dev team of James, Sean, Nick, and Monte, to a few other guests you will recognize from the previous episodes.

The biggest changes will be the release schedule and format. There will be two episodes a month (with the potential for more on especially busy months in the Clutch world) and each episode will be 30-45 minutes with reoccurring segments, debates, giveaways, Q&A’s, and some sneak peaks now and then.

The second part of this change is I will also now be a regular contributor to the Clutch Blog. There are a bunch of articles in the works, everything from looking at the different metas to individual player cards. Because if there is one thing we all want more of it is my insane hot takes. (I stand by and will not back down from my Rougned Odor hot take of 2018.)

All of this is to drive discussion about the game we love and to spread ideas and encouragement to those who play Clutch Baseball. This game has a collaborative community and we want to continue to grow that with the podcast and new blog. So I want to hear your ideas and see what you want me to write about and discuss.

You can follow me on Twitter @SanDiegoArmada, and on Reddit I am u/SanDiegoArmada.

Now that we got through all the “boring” stuff it is time to unleash some spicy leaks on the interwebs.

First up, Series 3 will have even more Generations insert cards, spanning six decades of baseball from the 1950’s to the 2000’s.

 

October is right around the corner and that means one thing, it is PSL szn. Wait–that can’t be right. Oh, Post-Season Heroes are making a return, that makes more sense. Last year PSH was a LE set, and this year they become inserts for Series 3.

 

If you listened to the Unofficial Clutch Podcast this next leak is something we speculated about in a recent episode. It is the most exciting development in team building, and that is the All-Time Trades inserts. Players will be eligible for stadium bonuses in both stadiums listed on their card.

Hopefully all that news didn’t fry your brain too much. With a lot of very interesting things to discuss be sure to join the debate on the Clutch Baseball Reddit page at reddit.com/r/clutchbaseball