Another solid addition

 Will the addition of OF Ryan Ludwick tip the scales and give the Reds firm control of the NL Central over the Cardinals and Brewers? Probably not. However, this is a good solid signing (pending a passed physical) for what is likely a reasonable cost in a one-year deal. And it comes on the heels of other strong additions (Madson, Marshall, Latos).

GM Walt Jocketty told me on Friday that the Reds were seeking a guy with some power for left field/the bench. They wanted a character guy in the clubhouse. From what I’ve heard, he brings that element with him to Cincinnati.

The Reds only had budget room for a smaller-level signing. A guy like Cody Ross had them interested earlier in this season but Ross was seeking a multi-year deal, Jocketty said last week. That all but  priced Ross out of coming here.

Ludwick is a long way from the salad days of smacking 37 homers and driving in 113 runs like he did for St. Louis in 2008. Last season, he dipped to .237 with 13 home runs last season in a combined 139 games with the Padres and Pirates.

But remember that Ludwick played 101 games for San Diego and a large amount of those were at Petco Park, which is known as a vast pitchers’ ballpark. He had a .674 OPS for the Padres while his career OPS is .787.

In 30 games at GABP, Ludwick has a .921 OPS to go with a .276 average, nine homers and 21 RBIs. And we all know that GABP is as hitter friendly as Petco isn’t.

Last season Ludwick batted .264 vs. left-handed pitchers and .228 against right-handers, yet he has been better over his career vs. righties (.272) than lefties (.237).

Dusty Baker has had praise for Ludwick the past couple of seasons. That doesn’t mean Chris Heisey should clean out his locker — far from it. This is a move that improves depth since there were only three true outfielders on the 40-man roster with big league experience.

I can envision an unconventional type of platoon in LF this season for Heisey and Ludwick and opportunities for Ludwick to spell Jay Bruce at times in right field.

13 Comments

will the reds ever get real baseball players that can hit baseballs thrown from pitchers, regardless if those pitchers throw with their left hand or their right hand?? PLATOONS SUCK!!!!! doesn’t it make more sense to spend the money on one good player rather than two mediocre players? ludwick is not just “depth”. especially with dusty managing. dusty had over 100 different lineups last year. he can’t stop messing with the lineup. this just gives him more toys to play with.

I think it is a good signing. The Reds did not have the money to get anyone else that could do better. It was rumored they would have had to give up Hanigan to get Seth Smith. I like the Reds chances with Ludwick. He should be hitting a very good number of home runs in GABP.

This move leaves me excited and worried at the same time. Excited from the fact we have landed solid depth in left field. Frazier can fill in as 5th OF/utility IF. I am ok with Janish at short as backup so I believe the front office has done its part in suppling the parts for a winning season. I am worried because Dusty is a fan of Ludwick. This could turn out to be another Patterson/Taveras/Gomes situation. Heisey deserves the same trial as the three of them got and if we turns out to be a dud then we know what we have. Please Dusty go with a set 8 and lets win us a division. 33 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Wtf are you talkig about beefcake???? The Reds unloaded a ton of money to get big time pitchers this offseason. Signing Ludwick gives this team so many options now it’s insane. They didn’t have any left over money to sign just one guy that would be the full time starter.

Dusty does love Ludwick, but I think this move was made more in light of Stubbs….This is a big year for Drew and he needs to start producing. Signing Ludwick gives Dusty more chances to sit Stubbs if the struggles continue because both Heisey or even Bruce could man CF if necesssary. Heisey would be the guy though. But Heisey also has a history of striking out a ton, at least Ludwick will make a lot more contact then Stubbs and Heisey.

Anybody who does not like this addition, obviosuly does not know a lot about Ludwick. But you should because he has killed the Reds plenty in the past. His numbers in the GAB will only improve and he very solid defensively.

Going to be interesting now to see who makes the 25 man roster to start the season:

C- Hanigan
1B- Votto
2B- Phillips
SS- Cozart
3B- Rolen
LF- Heisey
CF- Stubbs
RF- Bruce
Bench- Cairo
Bench- Ludwick
Bench- Mesoraco
Bench- Francisco?
Bench- Frazier??
Bench- Janish???

I would guess Francisco will have to start the year in Triple A.

SP- Cueto
SP- Latos
SP- Arroyo
SP- Bailey
SP- Leake
SP/RP- Chapman
RP- Bray
RP- Ondrusek
RP- Masset
RP- Arrendondo
RP- Marshall
RP- Madson

Looks to me like the odd man out here is Sam Lecure (which is a sad story with how well he did last year) with Brackman and Judy both also starting the year in Triple A. Only other option is Leake or Chapman starting the year in Triple A

My guess would be that Chapman would start the year in Triple A. He missed out on winterball and had to shut down before end of the Arizona Fall League. He still needs to build arm strength to be a starter and develope a reliable 3rd pitch. In any event he will not be a starter all year if they stick to the rull of thumb of not letting young pitchers throw any more than 20% more innings than previous years.

we will never see the same lineup twice this year. thats wtf i’m talking about. heisey should play everyday or get someone that can. baseball players need stability. they can’t get that with dusty baker. each day those players go to the field they never know what position they are playing or what place in the order they are batting.

Chapman will not be ready to start at season’s outset at the major league level. He will be in Louisville. Problem solved and LeCure has a spot. He should!

Francisco is out of options.

Is Ludwick an upgrade from Jonny Gomes? I am just asking, not trying to make a point.

I think so. Even when Gomes was going better in 2010, I didn’t like his approach at the plate. 2011 Cincy plate appearances were closer to the real Gomes in Tampa Bay and in Washington.

I would say yes, just because he makes more contact and is more of a “hitter” and not a slugger. Plus he’s played in the division and knows more of the pitchers. Defensivewise? He’s slow, doesn’t have a great arm, so it’s about a wash out there.
Curt

its a good move i think for what we have left and i still see them adding a short stop this week but its not best move but will work im very pleased with the offseason at least we tried and did something instead of just siting and doing nothing like we usually do every year.

If Heisey plays everyday, the Reds will have two guys in the top 10 of the MLB strikeout leaders in their lineup everyday. Is that really something you want?

– Stubbs struckout 1 in every 2.95 at bats. 604 at bats- 205 K’s
– Bruce struckout 1 in every 3.7 at bats- 585 at bats- 158K’s
– Heisey stuckout 1 in every 3.5 at bats last year. 279 at bats- 78 K’s. If he were to have gotten 604 at bats like Stubbs did last year…per his numbers, he would have struckout 186 times.

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to see out of our starting outfield is a a total of somewhere around 550 K’s for the season.

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