Since the beginning of the season Reds fans have known that the team hasn’t been running at full capacity due to injuries to three key players. Ryan Ludwick injured his shoulder as he slid into third base on opening day but due to MLB rules he must come off of the DL by the end of this week. He’s been doing some minor league work as well as a simulated game and he realizes he isn’t back to full speed yet. Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker said,
“I talked to him yesterday. He’s a little concerned about it. So we just have to keep our eye on him and help him along the way. Hopefully he’ll be very good at the right time.”
Reds fans need to be patient with Ludwick as he makes his return to the field. I’m sure it will take him some time to get back to where he was. However, it does make me wonder how long it will take him to be comfortable again and how long the Reds organization can wait on him due to the team slowly sliding backwards in the NL Central behind second place St. Louis Cardinals and first place Pittsburgh Pirates.
Also expected to come off of the DL this week is catcher Ryan Hanigan who injured his left wrist on July 11th. It took me some time to get used to seeing Devin Mesoraco behind the plate but he has definitely proven himself to be a great guy to have in the lineup both defensively and offensively. And let’s face it: the Reds need to get some offense going. We can only hope Hanigan comes back and picks up right where he left off. After all, he is the battery mate to Homer Bailey and called the game when Bailey tossed his no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants.
Right handed reliever Jonathan Broxton is also expected to come off of the DL by the end of this week. I think J.J. Hoover and Manny Parra have been doing an awesome job with most of their work resulting in three-up, three-down innings. I think these two guys are definitely under-estimated. Broxton has had a sore right elbow since June 15th. If he can throw 3 strikeouts when he’s called up from the bull pen the Reds will definitely have a chance at moving up in the NL Central race.