After a 10-month layoff, Joey Votto is returning to the Cincinnati Reds lineup Monday night for his 2023 debut. The 39-year-old will start a game with the Reds for the 17th straight season.

Votto broke the news on his Instagram and later did a press conference in front of Reds media. He said he is excited to be back and is looking forward to playing winning baseball.

“There is nothing like playing winning baseball. I have been with one team since I was 18 years old. And when this team is in a position to compete for championships it makes everything better,” Votto said. “Things are changing for the best. It’s a new era of Reds baseball.”

Reds fans are amped for the return of one of the franchise's best players.

Votto has been watching the young Reds closely and sees “a team moving toward a championship.”

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The Reds are 37-35 entering play on Monday and stand a half-game back of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, who've lost one less game with the same amount of wins. They've won eight games in a row, 12 of their last 13 and they just swept the defending World Series champion Houston Astros on the road.

Votto's 2022 season was marred with injuries that limited him to 91 games. He wasn’t very productive when healthy either, hitting .205 with an OPS below .700. He was very good in 2021, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 99 runs.

Joey Votto returns to the lineup tonight as the Reds get set for a six-game homestand against the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves. He will bat sixth and play first base.