Breaking News - In the third inning of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day loss to the Anaheim Angels, Ryan Ludwick had to leave the game because of a shoulder injury. Further tests revealed on Tuesday that Ludwick has torn cartilage in his right shoulder and will require surgery to repair the injury. He is scheduled to undergo the knife Wednesday.
MLB Impact - Ludwick, who has been a journeyman ballplayer since joining the majors in 2002, will miss at least 3-months while recuperating from his surgery to repair the torn cartilage. The slugging outfielder who filled in nicely for Joey Votto last year as a key cog in the offensive attack of the Reds, had his second most productive season in his career, hitting .275, while hitting 26 dingers and knocking in 80 runs in only 422 at bats.
While there is no guarantee that Ludwick could had duplicated those numbers, there is no doubt that the Reds will be looking frantically for a replacement that can bring both, a solid bat as well as a veteran demeanor to help soothe a clubhouse which is vital during a 162-game season.
Fantasy Spin - Ludwick was considered a low-end outfielder to begin the season, but this injury all but seals his fate as a waiver wire guy for the remainder of the season. Shoulder injuries are nothing to take lightly in the game of baseball and it should hamper his power production once he is able to suit up which at the moment is being targeted as early July.
The good news is that it is his right shoulder and he throws left-handed. Considering that there is no designated hitter in the National League, that would had been extremely devastating and possibly season threatening. But since he will be able to take the field once he returns, his value will only take a hit if he can’t recoup his compact swing. If for some reason his shoulder affects the way he brings his bat through the strike zone, Ludwick will be a wash for 2013.
In all but the deepest of leagues, you can safely send Ludwick to the waiver wires and look for a long-term replacement.
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