Joey Votto held a 10 minute session with the Canadian (and Cincinnati) media on Monday and announced that he will play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Votto plans on joining the Canadian squad that’s currently working out at Goodyear Ballpark on Thursday for the start of the first round of games.
Votto will not play for either the Reds or Canada when the two sides have a Wednesday night exhibition game.
“I look forward to playing for the team,” Votto said. “I look forward to being a part of the tournament. I had a great time the last time. I’m very grateful I’m on the team. It’s not very often you get to represent your country in a big tournament like this. I never got to play in the Olympics, this is the next best thing.”
Canada added Votto to its roster at the deadline last month, but he wanted to play in Cactus League games to test his surgically repaired left knee before making a final decision. There have been no issues for Votto, who has hit safely in five of his eight games played. He said he decided on Sunday.
Votto said he received support to play from the Reds, including CEO Bob Castellini. He expects to play at first base and DH, splitting time with Twins 1B Justin Morneau.