Cincinnati Reds starting left fielder Ryan Ludwick’s season didn’t get off to a great start, as he was injured sliding into 3rd base during the third inning of the Reds opening day 3-1, 13-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday.
It’s a very unfortunate injury for the 34-year-old Ludwick, who just re-signed this offseason to the club in hopes of being a key contributor once again to the team winning yet another NL Central division crown and getting back to his former All-Star form he had with the Cardinals in 2008.
Ludwick, who’s now expected to miss up to three months after having surgery earlier today to repair torn cartilage to his dislocated left hand from the slide was a real key contributor to the Reds winning a second NL Central division title in the last three years after batting .275 with 26 homers and 80 RBIs for the ballclub last season in 125 games that included 107 starts in left field last season.
Coincidentally after first baseman Joey Votto got hurt midseason, Ludwick emerged as one of the teams most consistent run producers in their quest to the NL Central division crown by hitting .340 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs during the 48 games that Votto missed.
With Ludwick now out for an extended period the Reds will once again have a key component of their lineup that somebody else will have to step up and take the place of. As just like Ludwick stepped up after Votto was injured last season, Chris Heisey will have to do something similar when he takes over for Ludwick in left to help the Reds in their quest for a third division crown in four years.
The Reds proved last year after Votto was injured and everyone wrote them off that they are a resilient bunch so I’m sure this injury to Ludwick wouldn’t effect them to much. I’m sure Heisey or someone else will make a more than viable replacement for Ludwick till he is able to comeback.