While Canada has begun to produce enticing MLB prospects at a higher rate in recent years, Votto was a rarity coming out of Etobicoke, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, back in 2002.
"A lot of the great players were from the West coast," Votto said. "The guys that came before me, I felt very little in common with. I get excited about the kids in the community in Ontario and the Eastern part of the country that, perhaps, are excited about looking up to somebody they can relate to, someone that played ball in their community, or at least in their part of the country."
Votto described his last trip to Toronto, where he lives in the offseason, as a whirlwind. With the years that have passed, and now as one of a young team's clear veteran leaders, the 33-year-old has learned to embrace the moment he's had highlighted on his calendar.
"I feel like I'm far more excited to be here and just take in the experience," Votto said. "I've been looking forward to this for months now. It was something that I was aware of last year when they announced the schedule, and now that I'm here, it's not disappointing."
• Starter Homer Bailey pitched two innings in an extended spring training game on Monday, throwing 33 pitches as he continues his rehab from surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow. Manager Bryan Price said on Sunday that the club would like to get him up around four innings before sending him out for his official rehab assignment, as that would allow the club to use as much of the 30-day maximum as needed.
• Reliever Tony Cingrani pitched one inning for Class-A Advanced Dayton on Monday, issuing one walk. The left-hander threw 24 pitches, 13 for strikes, and recorded all three of his outs via the ground ball. Most recently, Cingrani had pitched in a simulated game on May 26 as he rehabs a strained right oblique.
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.