Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  By KEVIN GOHEEN  |  Last updated 7/31/13
LOUISVILLE, Ky. The Reds didnt make any moves as Major League Baseballs non-waiver trade deadline came and went Wednesday but they are closer to getting two key team members back from injury. Left fielder Ryan Ludwick and right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton are mending their way back the big leagues with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. Broxton started the first game of a doubleheader against Syracuse Wednesday night and pitched his first inning since going on the disabled list June 15 with a flexor mass strain in his right elbow. He gave up three singles in the first eight pitches he threw to load the bases but got out of the jam without giving up a run. Ludwick has been on the DL since he tore the labrum in his right shoulder on Opening Day sliding head-first into third base. He went 0-for-3, grounding out to second base, shortstop and third base, in a 3-1 Louisville loss in the first game. He did not play in the nightcap. The Reds were expecting Ludwick to be their cleanup hitter this season after he hit 26 home runs and drove in 80 runs in 125 games with them last season. Ludwick added three more home runs and four RBI in the playoffs against San Francisco. Wednesday was his sixth game in the rehab process. He was unable to do any baseball-specific drills like swinging a bat or throwing a ball for more than three months. Labeling this as another Spring Training for Ludwick doesnt do the journey justice. Players getting ready for Spring Training dont take three months off prior. Obviously the competitor in me is trying to push it along because I want to get there as soon as possible, said Ludwick. But in the back of my mind I also know that this is a process and Ive been out for a long time and I need to be right before I go up there because if Im not I dont want to go up there and stink and hurt the team. Ludwick, 35, had the first of his now six career surgeries when he was 23. The one positive to that is he understands his body, how it responds to rehab and how far he can push it. He said he hasnt had any pain in his shoulder, although he has had expected soreness. It also allows him to keep the fact that he is now just 2-of-15 with four walks in perspective. I was so used to being immobile for so long in that sling, I think thats just kind of it, said Ludwick. The theme Im looking at when Im analyzing myself as far as at-bat to at-bat Im analyzing the way Im seeing the ball. Am I swinging at bad pitches? Ive probably only swung at three or four pitches out of the zone, which is a plus. Im drawing walks, which means Im seeing the ball. Broxtons bases loaded situation turned a routine rehab assignment into a genuine test. He threw 24 pitches in the inning, 18 of them for strikes. The only hard hit ball among the three hits was a line drive single just over the glove of leaping third baseman Henry Rodriguez, while Eury Perez and Danny Espinosa had a pair of ground ball singles. I could have had three outs in eight pitches and been down in the bullpen throwing some more, said Broxton. Instead he got cleanup hitter Tyler Moore to pop out to first baseman Mike Hessman and then struck out Cory Brown and Zach Walters. He mixed up his pitches fastball, slider, curve, sinker and was consistently in the mid 90s with his hard stuff. He topped out his fastball at 97 mph. Everything felt like I could throw it where I wanted to, said Broxton. It tested it out. I got the bases loaded and had to bear down. I made some good pitches when I needed to. I felt good today, no problem right now so well see how tomorrow goes. Broxton appears closer to returning to the Reds than Ludwick, although there is no timetable for when either will be back in Cincinnati. The Reds are more in need of a consistent bat than they are of another arm, although theyll gladly welcome back both when healthy. In some respects it could be considered their return is like getting a newly traded player, but Ludwick doesnt see it that way. Our team has been playing well. Ive heard a lot of the cries for help because were in third place in our division but in actuality I think our record is right around the same clip we were last year. Its not like were playing bad baseball as a team, said Ludwick. Ive been part of the team since Day One. Im not a new player. I feel like the guys that have filled in for me in left field, whether it be Heisey, D-Rob, X, Lutzie, whoever has been up there at any point in time this year has done a pretty good job. Im definitely not going up there to rattle any cages. Im just going to be the guy I was last year. I have fun in the clubhouse. I keep everyone awake and alive, on their toes, be excited to be on the field and try to win ball games.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker