Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryan Ludwick rejuvenated

Where would the Cincinnati Reds be without outfielder, Ryan Ludwick? (Pictured.) The Reds' best player, Joey Votto, left with a torn meniscus on July 16. On July 17, he had surgery on his left knee. Votto was the Reds best hitter with batting average, driving in runs and more importantly hitting with runners in scoring position. And just recently, he had surgery to remove loose cartilage. Don't look for Votto to return any earlier than August 24.

With the Reds leading the Central Division, it looked like a Reds free fall was going to happen. But before the start of the year, the Reds signed outfielder Ryan Ludwick. He had an All Star year in 2008. But injuries slowed him down in 2009. In 2010, he was traded to the San Diego Padres and was forced to play in that Grand Canyon of a baseball park. Then he was sent at the trade deadline in 2011 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. His offensive numbers drifted downward. Things did not look good for the rest of his career.

But signing a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds rejuvenated him. He came to the team with a chance to play regularly and at Great American Ballpark. Unlike San Diego, fly balls do not die in the outfield. A well hit ball leaves the yard. Ludwick has gotten his groove back. He's a clutch hitter and after a slow start, he's hitting .272 with runners in scoring position. He's given the Reds hits and RBIs when the team needs a hit. Check out his numbers. Since Votto left the lineup, Ludwick has hit .341. with 8 HR, and 27 RBI in 85 AB. Here's the breakdown from Lance McAlister of ESPN 1530, AM radio.

"The Ludwick Factor
.266-.335-.555-.890, 21 HR, 63 RBI.....44 extra base hits, 36 singles
On pace for 30 HR, 89 RBI
.890 OPS 2nd highest of career, highest since 2008 (.966)
.555 SLG 2nd highest of career, highest since 2008 (.591)
21 HR 3rd highest of career
Since Votto injury: .341-.404-.729-.1.134, 8 HR, 27 RBI in 85 AB
Since May 25: .300-.362-.643-1.005, 17 HR, 48 RBI
Prior May 25: .191-.276-.362-.638, 4 HR, 15 RBI"

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