Reds star Votto embarrassed by poor start, would rather 'quit than struggle'

Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto said he would rather "quit than struggle" as the first baseman's slump in MLB continues.

Four-time All-Star Votto - who has eight years remaining on his $199million contract signed in 2012 - finished April batting a dismal .230/.330/.310. 

With his form below par, the 32-year-old said he would rather leave the paychecks behind amid his "unacceptable and embarrassing" performances.

"It's not something I'm OK with," Votto told the Cincinnati Enquirer regarding his poor play. 

"I'd rather quit and leave all the money on the table than play at a poor level. I'm here to play and be part of setting a standard.

"It's something I've always taken pride in. I love to play at a really high level. So far this year, it's not been that.

"I will not be a very satisfied, happy person if I don't perform at the level that I expect."

Votto has just two home runs and 12 RBIs for the 10-15 Reds. His early-season struggles also include a 0-for-19 hitless streak, the longest of his career. 

"The way I played in April is unacceptable and embarrassing to me," Votto added.

"It's not something that I would look forward to coming to the ballpark, coming to spring training to do, year-in and year-out, it just would leave me too unhappy, too unsatisfied."

If Votto has anything going for him other than the fact he is a former MVP, it is that he rebounded in the second half of last season, slashing .362/.535/.617 over his final 73 games. 

"I refuse to accept my peak has [passed], I refuse to accept that my best days are in the past," Votto said. "I'm not there yet. I just don't see that, I don't feel that."

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