People are panicking a little bit about Ryan Ludwick, and I’m not sure why. Correspondingly, I want to run down some basic facts:
1. Ryan Ludwick was not going to repeat last year’s performance. I had him projected to be worth 2.0 WAR, making him the “worst” of the Reds starters. That is, if you were going to pick someone to lose for the season, you’d pick Ludwick. Or at least, I would.
2. Chris Heisey, over his career, has rated out as about an average (2.0 WAR) player when you adjust for playing time.
3. Ryan Ludwick’s career line is: .263/.334/.466. Chris Heisey’s career line is: .258/.314/.436. Ryan Ludwick provides very little value on the bases or on defense. This is not true of Chris Heisey (especially where defense is concerned).
4. There is likely to be something of a platoon situation with Heisey/Paul. This should further mitigate the drop-off from Ludwick.
Basically, what has happened is the Reds will now have a less potent bat on the bench than they would have. And I don’t want to hear about Heisey blowing it when he was given the chance to start. Two words, kids: Sample size.
Last week, I projected the Reds to win 95 games. Now, I’d probably call it 94, maybe 93 if I’m feeling really cranky.