Return of Ryan Ludwick Key to Reds Offense?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After yesterday’s game, the Cincinnati Reds activated left fielder Ryan Ludwick from the disabled list. For some in Redsland, it’s not a moment too soon. They may even be a few that believe that it could believe that it is a moment too late. Either way you look at it, it could produce a positive in relation to the Reds offense.

I know, the Reds overall offensive numbers look pretty darn good, but there are areas in which the bats haven’t been successful in this 2013 season. In scanning a few statistics, the 2012 Ludwick can help this team.

One area where I see the most complaints targeted is that of runners in scoring position (RISP). Heading into yesterday’s game, the Reds as a team owned a triple slash of .249/.354/.383 in these situations. In Ludwick’s first and only season as a Red, he was .296/.396/.502 in 150 plate appearances. Plus.

Another area: Reds RHB against RHP. This has been more of a hot button topic over the last week and with good reasons. Reds righty bats are .222/.278/.337 when facing righty arms. In 2012, Ludwick was .280/.340/.513 in 336 PA. This would be a definite upgrade.

The number of players that have manned left field this season have a combined 3-slash of .244/.313/.378. When Ludwick was in a game as a left fielder last season, it was .271/.345/.519. Plus.

Granted, the Ryan Ludwick of 2013 might be a different Ludwick from 2012. We might not see the power numbers that we witnessed last season due to potential limitations from the shoulder injury. His rehab assignment didn’t exactly produce glaring numbers. Just the opposite: .136/.208/.227 in 48 PA in games with Dayton and Louisville. He hit one home run and drove in only 4 runners and 11 of those PA ended in a whiff.

I honestly don’t expect Ludwick to walk into the batter’s box and dominate. No one should as Staff Writer Stepahnie Deskins noted the other day. That would be a tall ask for a guy that has essentially missed the entire season to date. Add that Ludwick’s timing takes a little longer to achieve as compared to other hitters, it could honestly take him a couple of weeks to fine tune his stroke. That said, his presence could create a wave of excitement and spark the other bats.

What will be interesting is to see how Dusty constructs his lineup. We had heard that upon his return, Ludwick will not be placed in the cleanup spot. The general consensus is that he will be slotted in the 6-hole. Would be like…

Choo
Frazier (provided that stays as is)
Votto
BP
Bruce
Ludwick
Cozart
Hanigan/Mes
Pitcher

What say you on that lineup?

With Ludwick already activated, the Reds sent Derrick Robinson to Louisville.

Topics: Cincinnati Reds, Ryan Ludwick

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  • JD Rentz

    While the “consensus” may have Ludwick in the 6-hole, I think having the surging (hard-hitting) Devin Mesoraco slotted either right before or right after him. Not knowing exactly how Ryan will hit, I think he’s ideally in the 6 or 7 slot depending on who is ahead of him. I can easily see this sequence:
    Phillips (free swinger, better suited at this point to hit AHEAD of Choo than behind … riskiness of his Double Play tendencies)
    Choo
    Votto
    Mesoraco (just him, not if it’s Hanigan)
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Ludwick
    Cozart

    Now, if it’s Hanigan instead, I’d rather see:
    Choo
    Ludwick / BP
    Votto
    Bruce
    Phillips / Ludwick
    Frazier
    Cozart
    Hanigan

    Mes has shown a line drive ability and power to all fields that cannot be denied. I like Ludwick ahead of Votto IF he gets to see a higher fastball percentage (and his power proves to be limited), but my issue with Frazier remains his propensity to swing at bad pitches. Frazier *can* work in the 2 slot but doesn’t seem remotely ideal for it.

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