Decline fears: Can Joey Votto, Robinson Cano fight off the aging curve?

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Major League Baseball announced there will be rule changes concerning pace of play, with mound visits being limited.
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GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Joey Votto was 27 years old, a reigning National League Most Valuable Player and ostensibly at the height of his powers when he first felt the symptoms of decline.

In 2010, he dominated the NL, smashing 37 home runs for the division champion Cincinnati Reds and leading the circuit in on-base percentage and OPS. And as he prepared to bedevil pitchers that season, he’d take massive swings in the on-deck circle, cuts so powerful his bat spoke to him.

“The bat would whistle,” he recalls. “I could hear the whoosh as it came through the strike zone. That would give me confidence.

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“It would let me know that, not only am I strong, but I’m also quick. I can be accurate with the barrel. I can read and react and still attempt to hit the ball as far as I can.

“I’d walk up to the plate with that confidence.”

A year later, his production remained elite – while his home…

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