Ryan Ludwick has an explanation for how terrible he has been recently, and it’s not entirely implausible. He blames San Diego’s Petco Park:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know why, but I got real pull-dominant there,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Obviously, left field is the easiest place to jump ship there. I lost the ability to hit the ball the other way, even in the cage. You could flip the ball to me, and I had a hard time hitting it the other way.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Great American Ball Park is suited for right-handed hitters, like Ludwick, to go to the opposite field. Ludwick has hit .276 with seven home runs, 10 doubles and 27 RBI in 105 at-bats at GABP.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“So this offseason, I worked on staying up the middle and away with everything and not worrying about the pull side because IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been able to do that my whole career,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ludwick said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want to make that right-center gap a strength for me again.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So far, it has gone well.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s looking good, real good,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baker said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He came into camp in great shape. He fits in with the guys. He has action on this team.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I have no idea what “(h)e has action on this team” means, but I don’t listen to as much jazz as Dusty Baker.
Read whatever you wish into this article. I’m afraid Ludwick is what he is at this point in his career, which means he’ll probably be adequate for the Reds. He clearly hopes to return to his old form from four seasons ago, but betting on that is a good way to go broke. (Not just for Ludwick; that goes for any 30+ year old who is four years removed from his last good-to-great season.)
In Ludwick’s case, I’m not entirely sure he can be better than Chris Heisey (when you add defense into the mix, especially), but I’m not entirely sure he will be worse, either. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?