Ludwick feels better, homers

Sure it’s spring, but Wednesday’s 5-4 Reds win over the Angels had Dusty Baker pretty pleased. It came on a walk-off two-run home run by Ryan Ludwick in the bottom of the ninth.

“I was wondering when we’d hit home runs,” Baker said. “[Opponents] had out homered us 32-20 this year.”

*Ludwick was back in camp today after illness kept him away for two days. The homer was his first of spring.

“[Ludwick] said he was going to stick around,” Baker said. “I tried to send him home and he said ‘no skip, I’m OK. I can play.’ I’m glad he did.”

*Bronson Arroyo was solid today for the most part. 6 ip, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. The first run came in the second inning when Arroyo walked pitcher Dan Haren with the bases loaded to force in the game’s first run. The other run was on a homer to left field by Vernon Wells in the third inning.

“Arroyo threw the ball very well. He looked good,” Baker said.

*The regulars only played part of the game. Scott Rolen had a two-out triple in the third inning before he exited.

“Everybody was going to get four innings,” Baker said. “After he hit that triple, that was his fourth inning even though he hit it in the third.”

*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-2, as was Ryan Hanigan, who had a RBI double in the second inning.

*Mat Latos is still listed as day-to-day with a strained left calf, but is scheduled to start on Sunday vs. the White Sox. Latos said he felt OK today, one day after the injury came during his start against the Cubs.

“Everything is real good,” Latos said. “I’m taking it easy today and doing what they tell me to do.”

*The Reds revealed that RHP Josh Judy cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville. With Judy off and Ryan Madson headed to the 60-day DL, some spots on the 40-man roster are opening up. You wonder if it’s for non-roster guys like Jeff Francis and Willie Harris…or for someone outside the organization??

Bench spot battle watch:

*Todd Frazier, who was off to a hot start, was 0-for-3 today and is batting .227.

*Juan Francisco replaced Rolen and was 0-for-2. Francisco is batting .163.

*Paul Janish, trying to earn a bench spot on the roster, hit his first home run of spring to lead off the Reds’ eighth against Kevin Jepsen. Janish, who was 1-for-2, is batting .306.

*Wilson Valdez started at shortstop and was 1-for-2 with a third-inning single.

*Willie Harris played right field following Jay Bruce and was 1-for-2. He’s batting .231.

*First pitch temperature: 82 degrees

*Attendance: 3,609



So, Janish went jard! 😉

The Philadelphia Enquirer reported yesterday that Phillies have spoken to the Reds about trading for Janish. They’ve suffered some injuries and are desperate for middle infielders.

Janish is hitting a lot better than Valdez in spring training (and a lot better than he did last year). Plus he’s younger. I’d rather keep him. I wonder if they would take Valdez back instead.

The Reds, meanwhile, could use a lefty reliever. Maybe they could just un-do the trade and get Horst back!

I too wish there were a creative way of keeping Janish with the big club, but it seems highly unlikely. At this juncture, I think the best we can hope for is that he accepts the demotion and works hard to bolster the organization’s depth. Surely, at some point, he will get another chance in the show sometime during the unfolding of the very long season.

Unfortunately, Janish may well find it difficult to anchor down a permanent job with the Reds considering the farm system talent, specifically the depth at each position coupled with kids in the wings such as Gregorious and Hamilton. Also, he turns 30 this year and it will be his 5th year in the minors. He’s a great backup and filler but I think he will always be a defensive player; his bat has always been terribly weak. Here is his 4 year career average: .221/.289/.302. His salary jumps from $437k to $850k this season so he’s not a super drain on the checkbook, however that bat of his has just never produced much. I personally would let him go if the ‘price is right’; actually, the ‘return is right’. But what could we get and from whom? I think we might need to add another player in any trade in order to realize a decent return.

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