Biographical

Portrait of Ryan Ludwick

Ryan Ludwick LFReds

Reds Player Cards | Reds Team Audit | Reds Depth Chart

2014 Rest-of-Season Projections (seasonal age 35)
PA AVG HR R RBI SB TAv WARP
2 .246 0 0 0 0 .262 0.0
Birth Date7-13-1978
Height6' 2"
Weight215 lbs
Age36 years, 3 months, 11 days
BatsR
ThrowsL
2.82010
-0.22011
2.62012
-0.82013
0.12014
+proj
WARP Summary

Standard

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB BB SO HBP SF SH RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
2002 TEX 23 23 88 81 10 19 6 0 1 28 7 24 0 0 0 9 2 1 .235 .295 .346 .209 -1.3 -3.0 -0.4
2003 CLE 24 39 145 136 14 36 7 1 7 66 8 39 0 0 1 26 2 0 .265 .306 .485 .279 3.6 2.0 0.5
2003 TEX 24 8 30 26 3 4 1 0 0 5 4 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 .154 .267 .192 .201 -2.1 0.1 -0.2
2004 CLE 25 15 54 50 3 11 2 0 2 19 2 14 2 0 0 4 0 0 .220 .278 .380 .223 -2.3 1.5 -0.1
2005 CLE 26 19 48 41 8 9 0 0 4 21 7 13 0 0 0 5 0 1 .220 .333 .512 .287 1.6 -0.0 0.2
2007 SLN 28 120 339 303 42 81 22 0 14 145 26 72 7 0 3 52 4 4 .267 .339 .479 .279 11.2 5.2 1.6
2008 SLN 29 152 617 538 104 161 40 3 37 318 62 146 8 8 1 113 4 4 .299 .375 .591 .333 66.5 3.5 7.0
2009 SLN 30 139 539 486 63 129 20 1 22 217 41 106 7 4 1 97 4 2 .265 .329 .447 .275 23.1 -2.3 2.1
2010 SDN 31 59 239 209 19 44 7 0 6 69 24 57 4 2 0 26 0 1 .211 .301 .330 .241 -1.9 3.1 0.1
2010 SLN 31 77 312 281 44 79 20 2 11 136 24 64 4 3 0 43 0 3 .281 .343 .484 .316 21.0 4.4 2.7
2011 PIT 32 38 133 112 14 26 5 0 2 37 19 37 0 1 1 11 0 0 .232 .341 .330 .272 2.4 -0.4 0.2
2011 SDN 32 101 420 378 42 90 18 0 11 141 32 87 4 5 1 64 1 1 .238 .301 .373 .252 2.5 -6.4 -0.4
2012 CIN 33 125 472 422 53 116 28 1 26 224 42 97 5 2 1 80 0 1 .275 .346 .531 .299 27.6 -2.8 2.6
2013 CIN 34 38 140 129 7 31 5 0 2 42 10 29 0 1 0 12 0 0 .240 .293 .326 .211 -4.8 -2.1 -0.8
2014 CIN 35 112 400 357 28 87 20 0 9 134 31 94 4 4 1 45 0 2 .244 .308 .375 .260 3.3 -2.2 0.1
Career106539763549454923201815416023398884530105871720.260.330.451.280150.40.515.3

Advanced

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G PA TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ FRAA BRR BVORP BWARP VORP WARP
1999 MOD A+ 0 193 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .352 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2000 MOD A+ 0 570 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .301 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2001 MID AA 119 512 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .307 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2001 SAC AAA 17 62 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .293 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2002 TEX MLB 23 88 .209 .252 .323 .394 .252 .321 111 -4.8 2.3 0.2 -3.0 0.8 -1.3 -0.4 -1.3 -0.4
2002 OKL AAA 78 352 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .335 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 CLE MLB 39 145 .279 .266 .326 .428 .263 .322 93 2.9 4.0 -1.5 2.0 -0.9 3.6 0.5 3.6 0.5
2003 TEX MLB 8 30 .201 .271 .329 .436 .266 .235 112 -1.9 0.8 -0.3 0.1 0.3 -2.1 -0.2 -2.1 -0.2
2003 OKL AAA 81 360 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .345 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004 CLE MLB 15 54 .223 .272 .329 .432 .258 .265 102 -2.2 1.6 -0.6 1.5 -0.3 -2.3 -0.1 -2.3 -0.1
2004 AKR AA 8 28 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .300 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004 BUF AAA 44 188 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .349 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 CLE MLB 19 48 .287 .263 .324 .417 .261 .208 101 1.4 1.4 -0.5 -0.0 -0.0 1.6 0.2 1.6 0.2
2005 BUF AAA 54 213 .189 .263 .334 .411 .249 .235 109 -17 6.5 -0.5 -1.1 0.1 -10.5 -1.1 -10.5 -1.1
2006 TOL AAA 134 571 .287 .262 .326 .400 .261 .341 94 16.1 16.3 -6.6 -4.1 -1.7 27.3 2.3 27.3 2.3
2007 SLN MLB 120 339 .279 .271 .337 .429 .262 .309 101 7.3 10.1 -2.5 5.2 -3.2 11.2 1.6 11.2 1.6
2007 MEM AAA 29 121 .368 .282 .353 .453 .272 .359 94 14.5 3.7 -1.1 1.3 0.5 17.4 1.8 17.4 1.8
2008 SLN MLB 152 617 .333 .265 .333 .421 .263 .342 97 48.3 17.8 -5.6 3.5 2.4 66.5 7.0 66.5 7.0
2009 SLN MLB 139 539 .275 .256 .327 .411 .260 .296 92 8.9 15.5 -5.5 -2.3 2.6 23.1 2.1 23.1 2.1
2010 SDN MLB 59 239 .241 .248 .313 .390 .259 .257 85 -4.6 6.6 -2.4 3.1 0.0 -1.9 0.1 -1.9 0.1
2010 SLN MLB 77 312 .316 .266 .329 .418 .273 .325 88 17.9 8.6 -2.9 4.4 -3.0 21.0 2.7 21.0 2.7
2010 MEM AAA 3 11 .440 .240 .321 .392 .243 .250 94 2.3 0.3 -0.1 0.0 0.0 2.3 0.2 2.3 0.2
2011 PIT MLB 38 133 .272 .250 .312 .385 .256 .324 96 1.6 3.6 -1 -0.4 -0.2 2.4 0.2 2.4 0.2
2011 SDN MLB 101 420 .252 .252 .315 .394 .259 .277 91 -3.2 11.3 -2.9 -6.4 -2.2 2.5 -0.4 2.5 -0.4
2011 IND AAA 4 16 .380 .270 .319 .418 .253 .400 93 2.3 0.5 -0.1 -0.1 0.2 2.0 0.2 2.0 0.2
2012 CIN MLB 125 472 .299 .257 .319 .408 .264 .299 100 18.1 12.9 -3.1 -2.8 -0.1 27.6 2.6 27.6 2.6
2013 CIN MLB 38 140 .211 .252 .312 .383 .251 .293 105 -6.5 3.7 -1 -2.1 -0.4 -4.8 -0.8 -4.8 -0.8
2013 DYT A 3 10 .259 .258 .326 .379 .255 .250 114 0 0.3 -0.2 0.0 -0.0 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0
2013 LOU AAA 10 39 .132 .251 .311 .368 .245 .143 101 -5.4 1.1 -0.3 -0.7 -0.1 -5.4 -0.6 -5.4 -0.6
2014 CIN MLB 112 400 .260 .250 .310 .383 .260 .302 99 0 10.2 -2.6 -2.2 -4.4 3.3 0.1 3.3 0.1

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO TAv VORP FRAA WARP
1999 MOD A+ 193 28 47 11 3 4 34 19 45 2 1 .275 .358 .444 .170 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2000 MOD A+ 570 86 130 26 3 29 102 68 128 10 6 .264 .363 .505 .241 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2001 SAC AAA 62 10 13 3 0 1 7 2 16 2 0 .228 .250 .333 .105 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2001 MID AA 512 82 119 23 3 25 96 56 113 9 10 .269 .359 .503 .235 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2002 OKL AAA 352 62 87 27 4 15 52 38 76 2 2 .285 .372 .548 .262 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2002 TEX MLB 88 10 19 6 0 1 9 7 24 2 1 .235 .295 .346 .111 .209 -1.3 -3.0 -0.4
2003 OKL AAA 360 51 96 24 3 17 63 33 71 1 1 .303 .377 .558 .256 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003 CLE MLB 145 14 36 7 1 7 26 8 39 2 0 .265 .306 .485 .221 .279 3.6 2.0 0.5
2003 TEX MLB 30 3 4 1 0 0 0 4 9 0 0 .154 .267 .192 .038 .201 -2.1 0.1 -0.2
2004 AKR AA 28 4 7 2 0 1 5 1 5 0 0 .269 .296 .462 .192 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004 CLE MLB 54 3 11 2 0 2 4 2 14 0 0 .220 .278 .380 .160 .223 -2.3 1.5 -0.1
2004 BUF AAA 188 25 45 15 0 8 30 16 52 0 0 .271 .349 .506 .235 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
2005 CLE MLB 48 8 9 0 0 4 5 7 13 0 1 .220 .333 .512 .293 .287 1.6 -0.0 0.2
2005 BUF AAA 213 27 36 10 2 4 16 17 48 0 1 .191 .276 .330 .138 .189 -10.5 -1.1 -1.1
2006 TOL AAA 571 81 135 34 2 28 80 48 167 2 6 .266 .343 .506 .240 .287 27.3 -4.1 2.3
2007 MEM AAA 121 27 36 8 0 8 36 10 20 1 1 .340 .397 .642 .302 .368 17.4 1.3 1.8
2007 SLN MLB 339 42 81 22 0 14 52 26 72 4 4 .267 .339 .479 .211 .279 11.2 5.2 1.6
2008 SLN MLB 617 104 161 40 3 37 113 62 146 4 4 .299 .375 .591 .292 .333 66.5 3.5 7.0
2009 SLN MLB 539 63 129 20 1 22 97 41 106 4 2 .265 .329 .447 .181 .275 23.1 -2.3 2.1
2010 MEM AAA 11 2 3 1 0 2 5 0 3 0 0 .333 .333 1.111 .778 .440 2.3 0.0 0.2
2010 SDN MLB 239 19 44 7 0 6 26 24 57 0 1 .211 .301 .330 .120 .241 -1.9 3.1 0.1
2010 SLN MLB 312 44 79 20 2 11 43 24 64 0 3 .281 .343 .484 .203 .316 21.0 4.4 2.7
2011 IND AAA 16 3 5 1 0 1 5 3 2 0 0 .385 .500 .692 .308 .380 2.0 -0.1 0.2
2011 PIT MLB 133 14 26 5 0 2 11 19 37 0 0 .232 .341 .330 .098 .272 2.4 -0.4 0.2
2011 SDN MLB 420 42 90 18 0 11 64 32 87 1 1 .238 .301 .373 .135 .252 2.5 -6.4 -0.4
2012 CIN MLB 472 53 116 28 1 26 80 42 97 0 1 .275 .346 .531 .256 .299 27.6 -2.8 2.6
2013 DYT A 10 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 .167 .444 .167 .000 .259 0.1 0.0 0.0
2013 LOU AAA 39 2 5 1 0 1 4 0 9 0 0 .132 .154 .237 .105 .132 -5.4 -0.7 -0.6
2013 CIN MLB 140 7 31 5 0 2 12 10 29 0 0 .240 .293 .326 .085 .211 -4.8 -2.1 -0.8
2014 CIN MLB 400 28 87 20 0 9 45 31 94 0 2 .244 .308 .375 .132 .260 3.3 -2.2 0.1

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT
2008 2291 0.5098 0.4607 0.7564 0.6430 0.2707 0.8442 0.5395 0.2436
2009 2057 0.5007 0.4937 0.7937 0.6709 0.3135 0.8886 0.5901 0.2063
2010 2164 0.5088 0.4753 0.7607 0.6649 0.2785 0.8292 0.5912 0.2393
2011 2053 0.5090 0.5017 0.7566 0.6852 0.3085 0.8268 0.5949 0.2434
2012 1756 0.4778 0.5028 0.7463 0.7020 0.3206 0.8285 0.5816 0.2537
2013 463 0.4881 0.5486 0.7323 0.7655 0.3418 0.8382 0.5062 0.2677
2014 1513 0.4818 0.5069 0.7379 0.7010 0.3265 0.8454 0.5234 0.2621
Career122970.49910.49060.75880.67870.30220.84380.56910.2412

Injury History

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2014-06-19 2014-06-19 DTD 0 0 - Low Back Tightness -
2014-05-19 2014-05-19 DTD 0 0 - Thigh Strain Quadriceps - -
2014-04-19 2014-04-20 DTD 1 1 - Contusion Big Toe - -
2013-04-02 2013-08-12 60-DL 132 116 Right Shoulder Surgery Labrum and Anterior Capsule From Dislocation 2013-04-03 -
2012-09-20 2012-09-29 DTD 9 8 Left Groin Tightness - -
2012-05-18 2012-05-20 DTD 2 2 Left Elbow Contusion HBP - -
2011-08-23 2011-09-07 15-DL 15 15 - Mid Back Spasms - -
2011-03-20 2011-03-24 Camp 4 0 Lower Leg Contusion Shin -
2011-03-03 2011-03-05 Camp 2 0 General Medical Respiratory Flu -
2010-08-01 2010-08-01 DTD 0 0 Left Lower Leg Soreness Calf -
2010-06-26 2010-07-24 15-DL 28 24 Left Lower Leg Strain Calf -
2010-06-23 2010-06-25 DTD 2 2 Left Lower Leg Strain Calf -
2010-06-01 2010-06-01 DTD 0 0 Left Thumb Sprain -
2010-03-28 2010-03-28 Camp 0 0 Left Lower Leg Contusion Foul Ball Off Shin -
2009-05-13 2009-05-29 15-DL 16 14 Right Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2009-04-29 2009-04-29 DTD 0 0 General Medical Respiratory Flu -
2009-03-07 2009-03-10 Camp 3 0 Abdomen Strain Oblique -
2005-08-26 2005-09-02 Minors 7 7 Right Forearm Fracture Ulna - -
2005-08-07 2005-08-20 Minors 13 12 Left Lower Leg Strain Calf - -
2005-05-23 2005-05-26 DTD 3 3 Right Shoulder Soreness -
2004-04-04 2004-07-05 60-DL 92 80 Right Knee Surgery Scar Tissue Around Patella and Tendon 2004-03-31
2003-10-23 2003-10-23 Off 0 0 Right Knee Surgery Cartilage 2003-10-23
2003-09-04 2003-09-29 60-DL 25 22 Right Knee Cartilage Injury -
2002-08-04 2002-09-05 Minors 32 0 Left Thigh Surgery Stress Fracture Femur 2002-08-22 -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2015 CIN $4,500,000
2014 CIN $8,500,000
2013 CIN $2,000,000
2012 CIN $2,000,000
2011 SDN $6,775,000
2010 SLN $5,450,000
2009 SLN $3,700,000
2008 SLN $411,000
2005 CLE $317,500
2004 CLE $304,700
YearsDescriptionSalary
8 yrPrevious$20,958,200
2011Current$8,500,000
9 yrPvs + Cur$29,458,200
1 yrFuture$4,500,000
10 yrTotal$33,958,200

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
8 y 109 dDan Horwits2 years/$15M (2013-14), 2015 option

Details
  • 2 years/$15M (2013-14), plus 2015 mutual option. Re-signed by Cincinnati as a free agent 12/9/12. $2M signing bonus. 13:$1M, 14:$7.5M, 15:$9M mutual option, $4.5M buyout. Buyout amount is deferred without interest.
  • 1 year/$2.5M (2012). Signed by Cincinnati as a free agent 1/17/12. 12:$2M, 13:$5M mutual option, $0.5M buyout. Performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 250, 300, 350 plate appearances. $0.1M each for 400, 450 PA. $0.15M for 500 PA. Ludwick declined 2013 option 10/31/12.
  • 1 year/$6.775M (2011). Re-signed by San Diego 1/18/11 (avoided arbitration). Acquired by Pittsburgh in trade from San Diego 7/31/11.
  • 1 year/$5.45M (2010). Re-signed by St. Louis 1/19/10. Acquired by San Diego in trade from St. Louis 7/31/10.
  • 1 year/$3.7M (2009). Re-signed by St. Louis 2/16/09 (avoided arbitration, $4.25M-$2.8M). Performance bonus: $25,000 each for 625, 650 plate appearances. $50,000 for 675 plate appearances.
  • 1 year/$0.411M (2008). Re-signed by St. Louis 3/4/08.
  • 1 year (2007). Signed by St. Louis as a free agent 12/06 (minor-league contract). Contract purchased by St. Louis 5/6/07.
  • 1 year (2006). Signed by Detroit as a free agent 1/06 (minor-league contract).
  • 1 year/$0.3175M (2005). Re-signed by Cleveland 3/05 (split contract - $203,800 in minors). DFA by Cleveland 5/05, sent outright to Triple-A 6/05.
  • 1 year/$0.3047M (2004). Re-signed by Cleveland 2/04.
  • 1 year (2003). Acquired by Cleveland in trade from Texas 7/03.
  • 1 year (2002). Acquired by Texas in trade from Oakland 1/02.
  • Drafted by Oakland 1999 (2-60) (UNLV).

2014 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 3/11/2014 05:35 ET

PCT PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
90o 532 66 134 26 1 22 76 48 113 1 1 .283 .353 .479 .299 29.9 LF -8 2.3
80o 511 61 123 24 1 20 70 44 111 1 1 .269 .338 .455 .286 22.2 LF -8 1.5
70o 496 57 115 22 1 19 66 41 110 1 1 .259 .326 .438 .276 17.0 LF -8 1.0
60o 483 54 108 21 0 18 63 39 108 1 1 .250 .316 .424 .268 12.8 LF -8 0.6
50o 471 51 103 20 0 17 60 37 107 1 1 .242 .307 .410 .260 9.0 LF -7 0.2
40o 459 48 97 19 0 16 57 35 106 1 1 .235 .298 .397 .252 5.4 LF -7 -0.2
30o 446 45 91 18 0 15 54 33 104 1 1 .226 .289 .383 .244 1.7 LF -7 -0.6
20o 431 42 85 17 0 14 50 30 102 1 1 .217 .277 .366 .235 -2.3 LF -7 -1.0
10o 410 38 76 15 0 12 46 27 100 1 1 .203 .261 .344 .221 -7.4 LF -6 -1.5
Weighted Mean4765210521017613810811.246.311.416.26410.6LF -70.3

Diagnostics

Breakout Rate Improve Rate Collapse Rate Attrition Rate MLB %
3% 30% 16% 23% 84%

Long-Term Forecast (Beyond the 2014 Projections)

Playing time estimates are based on performance, not Depth Charts.
Year Age PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG TAv WARP VORP BRR POS_ADJ REP_ADJ RAA FRAA
201536250295010072720590.226.293.367.243-0.31.5-0.6-1.09.8-6.7-3.9
201637250305110082919610.226.292.378.245-0.12.8-0.5-1.110.4-6.0-3.9
201738250285010072620620.218.286.350.235-0.6-1.4-0.5-1.214.9-14.7-3.9
201839315356212093323780.216.279.348.231-1.0-4.5-0.6-1.614.9-17.3-4.9
20194025027479062518620.209.273.337.226-1.2-7.3-0.5-1.314.7-20.1-3.9
20204125028489072619640.212.277.345.229-0.8-3.3-0.5-1.45.8-7.2-3.9
20214225027489062518640.210.273.330.223-1.2-6.7-0.5-1.59.9-14.7-3.9
20224325026469052319650.204.270.313.217-1.8-12.8-0.5-1.514.9-25.7-3.9
20234425028509062520610.225.292.346.235-0.6-1.8-0.5-1.614.9-14.6-3.9

Upside By Year

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 PEAK 5
19.31715.40.90.1out of baseball52.6

Comparable Players (Similarity Index 81)

Rank Score Name Year TAv Trend
1 91 David Justice 2001 .263
2 90 Raul Ibanez 2007 .293
3 90 Ben Oglivie 1984 .266
4 89 Kevin Mitchell 1997 .213
5 89 Andruw Jones 2012 .261
6 89 Monte Irvin 1954 .281
7 88 Dusty Baker 1984 .281
8 88 Billy Williams 1973 .287
9 88 Jerry Lynch 1966 .181
10 86 Matt Diaz 2013 .157
11 85 Bob Nieman 1962 .277
12 85 Jim Rice 1988 .263
13 85 Minnie Minoso 1961 .298
14 84 Luis Gonzalez 2003 .307
15 84 Jason Michaels 2011 .190
16 83 Sid Gordon 1953 .319
17 83 Garret Anderson 2007 .279
18 83 Cliff Floyd 2008 .283
19 83 Lonnie Smith 1991 .286
20 82 Paul O'Neill 1998 .304
21 82 Bob Allison 1970 .254
22 81 Andres Torres 2013 .239
23 81 Marlon Anderson 2009 .013
24 81 Charlie Maxwell 1962 .291
25 81 Shawn Green 2008 .000 DNP
26 81 Fred Lynn 1987 .280
27 81 Norm Cash 1970 .291
28 81 Alfonso Soriano 2011 .261
29 81 Casey Blake 2009 .307
30 80 Brian Downing 1986 .317
31 80 Pat Burrell 2012 .000 DNP
32 80 Kirk Gibson 1992 .226
33 80 Dave Winfield 1987 .283
34 80 Leon Wagner 1969 .317
35 80 Eric Hinske 2013 .193
36 80 Moises Alou 2002 .262
37 80 Ken Griffey 2005 .312
38 80 Jose Cruz Jr. 2009 .000 DNP
39 80 Mark DeRosa 2010 .197
40 80 Eric Chavez 2013 .284
41 80 Ken Caminiti 1998 .313
42 80 Ron Fairly 1974 .281
43 80 Bob Watson 1981 .244
44 79 Pedro Guerrero 1991 .263
45 79 George Foster 1984 .270
46 79 Jackie Jensen 1962 .000 DNP
47 79 Dwight Evans 1987 .329
48 79 Rafael Palmeiro 2000 .294
49 79 Jim Hickman 1972 .305
50 79 Davey Johnson 1978 .247
51 79 Gary Matthews 2010 .188
52 79 Bobby Bonilla 1998 .249
53 79 David Dellucci 2009 .179
54 79 Lyle Overbay 2012 .251
55 79 Ty Wigginton 2013 .156
56 78 Torii Hunter 2011 .277
57 78 Dmitri Young 2009 .000 DNP
58 78 Mike Stanley 1998 .292
59 78 Roy Sievers 1962 .284
60 78 Andre Thornton 1985 .257
61 78 Harold Baines 1994 .276
62 78 Gary Matthews 1986 .288
63 78 Jose Cruz 1983 .313
64 78 John Lowenstein 1982 .355
65 78 Greg Vaughn 2001 .272
66 78 Bob Cerv 1960 .293
67 78 John Wockenfuss 1984 .303
68 78 Robin Yount 1991 .266
69 78 Pat Kelly 1980 .273
70 78 Eddie Murray 1991 .270
71 78 Tim Salmon 2004 .236
72 78 Jermaine Dye 2009 .263
73 78 Hal McRae 1981 .276
74 78 Gabe Kapler 2011 .000 DNP
75 78 Jose Guillen 2011 .000 DNP
76 77 Ellis Burks 2000 .354
77 77 Kevin Millar 2007 .274
78 77 Marcus Thames 2012 .000 DNP
79 77 Chili Davis 1995 .318
80 77 Jeromy Burnitz 2004 .279
81 77 Bob Elliott 1952 .255
82 77 Jeff Kent 2003 .289
83 77 Champ Summers 1981 .266
84 77 Melvin Mora 2007 .255
85 77 Bernie Williams 2004 .268
86 77 Jason Varitek 2007 .275
87 77 Mike Cameron 2008 .279
88 77 Fred McGriff 1999 .322
89 77 Luke Scott 2013 .281
90 77 George Hendrick 1985 .202
91 77 Jimmy Wynn 1977 .205
92 77 Reed Johnson 2012 .264
93 77 Derrek Lee 2011 .266
94 77 Rocky Colavito 1969 .000 DNP
95 77 Matt Stairs 2003 .308
96 77 Mike Sweeney 2009 .276
97 77 Johnny Bench 1983 .263
98 77 Boog Powell 1977 .263
99 77 Don Baylor 1984 .306
100 77 Brady Anderson 1999 .306

Platoon

SORT_FIELD PLATOON AVG OBP SLG TAv
10 vs L (Multi) .256 .339 .482 .276
11 vs R (Multi) .257 .319 .417 .256
18 Split (Multi) .001 -.019 -.065 -.019
19 LgAvg (Multi) -.013 -.023 -.037 -.020
30 vs L (2013) .269 .321 .462 .232
31 vs R (2013) .233 .286 .291 .199
38 Split (2013) -.036 -.036 -.170 -.032
39 LgAvg (2013) -.011 -.021 -.036 -.019

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2014 Due to publishing agreements, the 2014 player comments and team essays are only available in the Baseball Prospectus 2014 book (available in hardcopy, e-book, and Kindle).
2013 Still recovering from the effects of Petco Park, which he claimed affected his swing, Ludwick had a 694 OPS through June 6. The next day, he knocked two homers, beginning a 57-game stretch in which he hit 19 of his 26 home runs. His OPS during that binge was 360 points higher than before and after it. Ludwick found his stroke again in the playoffs, which is good because if he isn't hitting—as he wasn't in the previous year and a half—he has no value.
2012 Since leaving the comforts of St. Louis, Ludwick has hit .254/.308/.353 while playing his home games in San Diego and Pittsburgh—two parks not built for right-handed batters. It is unsurprising that Ludwick has better numbers on the road since the trade that sent him to San Diego, although even those numbers pale in comparison to what he did for the Cardinals. He turns 34 in July and is three seasons removed from hitting 37 home runs.
2011 Ludwick didn't produce like the Padres thought he would when they dealt a pair of prospects for him at the deadline, but both the organization and the outfielder blame his underwhelming returns on an unhealing calf injury. Ludwick's 631 OPS as a Friar was one of the reasons that the team fell out of first, but the Padres tendered him a contract nonetheless, knowing that a healthy Ludwick can contribute. Petco is the pitcher's park, but it's actually a better place for right-handers to hit than the Cardinals' latest incarnation of Busch Stadium ("better" being a relative term, of course). Though he has the glove for right, San Diego will stick Ludwick in left in 2011, where the offensive baseline is lower and his defense won't be wasted as much as Will Venable's would be.
2010 On the list of predictable declines from '08 to '09, Ludwick may not rank with Milton Bradley, but seeing his line-drive rate plummet from 28 to 21 percent was a big part of why the BABIP fairy didn't leave him anything extra under his pillow. He also put more balls in play (both his walk and strikeout rates dropped), meaning his performance became more dependent on their outcomes. Or, to put it simply, reality had a nasty way of reminding the world that Ludwick's not going to flirt with a .600 SLG all the time. His combination of power and defense should keep him in the mix as a quality component in a semi-regular role, but if his future production is going to be more like his first and third years as a Cardinal, as seems likely, he's not a significantly better-than-average everyday player.
2009 Ludwick's 2008 campaign is pretty far up the list of the best offensive seasons all-time for players who rode the bench on Opening Day. La Russa platooned him for the first month of the season, frustrating given that the big slugger has consistently hit righties better throughout his career (and last year, as Ludwick had a 985 OPS vs. RHPs and 929 vs. LHPs). Soon enough, Ludwick smashed his way out of part-time duty, and he continued to hit well throughout the season. He's a poor bet to have a sustained peak given his late start, but in the short term, he should be able to crank out a couple more 30-homer campaigns.
2008 Save for 2005 when he suffered a broken wrist, Ludwick has never not hit, so it isn't a surprise that when forced into the Cardinals' lineup last year, he was a credible fourth outfielder. As the organization's outfield depth is heavily left-handed, there should be plenty of opportunities for him and his power to help. Bonus: he plays much better defense than most of his competition. He'll lose some batting average, but remain valuable.
2007 Ryan Ludwick was one of a number of `in case of emergency` players that the Tigers signed last winter; he had a pretty good year at Toledo, but the emergency never came. There`s nothing to suggest that he can`t be an effective fourth outfielder in the big leagues, and nothing to suggest he`ll be better than that either.
2005 Ludwick spent most of 2004 getting his knee healthy after an off-season operation. Acquired from Texas in 2003, he's hit relatively well in the minors but failed to produce in his brief time in the majors. In part this is because playing in the PCL overstated his offensive potential a little, in part because a mid-range offensive prospect without plate judgment is like a parachutist who fills his container with chocolate pudding instead of silk.
2003 One of the most promising prospects in the system suddenly became a huge question mark in August when Ludwick underwent an unusual surgery to repair a deteriorating hip fracture. Before the injury, Ludwick had his best year yet, manhandling PCL pitching and showing an adequate if unspectacular glove in center. Now the guy who looked like a fair bet to solve the Rangers’ long-standing center field problem may never be heard from again. Or he could be OK. This kind of injury is unusual enough that no one will have much idea until spring.
2002 Here's the guy the A's would like to see in center field pretty soon. Ludwick is a masher with a legitimate set of skills for center field. Still, some scouts are not sold on his ability to play center, particularly if he fills out much more physically, but his fundamentals are sound, he has a reasonable arm, and he goes back well on balls. Scouts compare his bat to Paul Konerko's. He's put up pretty good numbers in some hitters' paradises. Now that he's a Ranger, he has a good shot at being their center fielder by 2003 after a good year in the PCL.
2001 The A’s love his work ethic, which will be important for his development because he’s short a tool or two. Ryan Ludwick lacks great wheels, but he gets excellent jumps, and he’s a very instinctive center fielder. He has tremendous bat speed but is nowhere close to being as patient as the A’s want him to be. He struggled early in 2000 and in the AFL, but he also spent most of the year fighting a pulled muscle or two. Don’t be surprised if he adjusts slowly to Double-A, and don’t forget about him.

BP Articles

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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2013-12-10 18:00:00 (link to chat)Mike, big fan of your work. Deciding between R. Ludwick and C. Parmelee for my last cut in a dynasty points league. I am set with backups at 1b so Parmelee's eligibility there is a non-factor. I have 4 solid starting OF and two decent bench options ahead of these guys, who would be my OF7. Does Parmelee have enough upside left at this point to sacrifice Ludwick's safer playing time in 2014? I'm thinking not but I tend to lean toward younger players when possible. Thanks.
(Josh from Philly)
Hi Josh;

At this point, I think I'd have to go with Ryan Ludwick over Chris Parmelee. Parmelee is an intriguing play for power potential, but he is getting to the age where he is going to get tagged as a fourth outfield/backup first base type soon. Ludwick is older, but as you noted he should play every day barring a trade or another serious injury. You don't want to give up on young/talented guys in dynasty, but I don't quite think Parmelee fits that bill at this point. Sure, maybe he goes the route of Raul Ibanez and does some major damage in his 30s, but how likely was that career path even for Ibanez. I'd stick with Ludwick there. (Mike Gianella)
2013-02-27 20:00:00 (link to chat)Would you trade Josh Hamilton (4 yr contract at 30) for Oscar Taveras (10 yr of control, escalating 1-15) straight up if you were the favorite to win your league this year and would have to replace Hamilton with Ryan Ludwick?
(stevenst from TX)
I would, because I'd think that if I had to I could flip Taveras for more talent than Hamilton in a subsequent trade if that's what it took to win. (Mike Gianella)
2012-11-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you see the Reds doing anything on the offensive side this offseason? I expect Todd Frazier to be the 3b, but what happens at SS, CF, and LF?
(Rockford from Flowmont)
Thanks for stopping by, Rockford. After watching GABP help Ryan Ludwick to turn back into a serviceable everyday player, I think the Reds will go with a low-cost option in left, and possibly just bring back Ludwick if his price tag doesn't bloat too much. I also wouldn't expect them to give up on Zack Cozart so quickly, especially because he did amass 1.4 WARP last year, even with a .288 OBP. Given the depth of the outfield market, there might be a center fielder who fits the Reds' budget, so that's the position I think Jocketty will be most tempted to address. If Angel Pagan, B.J. Upton, and Michael Bourn all price themselves out of the Reds' range, Shane Victorino might be an intriguing option. (Daniel Rathman)
2012-10-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)The Reds managed a measly 2.9 R/G since September 1st (29 games). As a Reds fan, how worried should I be?
(RMR from Chicago)
As a Giants fan, I certainly hope it continues, but I wouldn't be exceedingly worried. I don't expect Joey Votto's home run drought to last much longer, and Ryan Ludwick should do better than the one he hit in September. This seems like sort of an ebb-and-flow of an offense that (in part because of its ballpark) relies on home runs, and as soon as those start to come again, there won't be any more reason to worry. (Daniel Rathman)
2012-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who are your top undervalued targets for NL only leagues this year?
(Senior from Lost in my mind)
Just had LABR NL this weekend, so I've got a bunch. Not all went for as low as I wanted, but how about: Michael Cuddyer, Lucas Duda, Jon Jay, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, Jose Altuve, Ryan Ludwick, Tyler Greene. None are sure things, obviously, but that's the nature of undervalued targets. In general, I think these guys will come cheaper than I'd pay for them (although that wasn't the case for Cuddyer, Duda, Mayberry, Byrd, and Altuve this weekend in a tough LABR crowd). (Derek Carty)
2012-02-23 11:00:00 (link to chat)Where do you fall on the fence debate concerning Petco Park and do you think the Padres have done an adequate job in utilizing the park's spaciousness as an advantage?
(Venzor from North Park)
You could say I'm [removes shades] on the fence. But seriously, I think the team should be extremely careful in modifying the dimensions. The law of unintended consequences can be a cruel mistress. As for utilizing the park to their advantage, the Padres have been hit or miss. Having athletic outfielders like Maybin and Venable is good. Right-handed power hitters are useful if they aren't Ryan Ludwick. And the team has done a good job bringing in pitchers (Kevin Correia, Jon Garland, Aaron Harang) who look better than they are thanks to the park. Volquez could be another one of those. (Geoff Young)
2012-02-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Off the top of your head, other than Adam Dunn in the 25th, who are some other great buy lows?
(JT from Michigan)
Ryan Ludwick has been going even later than that, undrafted in a lot of mixed leagues. Switching from a career of pitcher or (at best) neutral parks to a hitter's one gets me a little excited to see what he'll do. I may actually end up writing about Ludwick a bit on Thursday, so keep your eyes peeled. (Derek Carty)
2012-02-02 15:00:00 (link to chat)Backups don't seem to get any love. Who are the best OF and IF backups in MLB? I'm like TEX's David Murphy for the OF, and NYY's E. Nunez for the IF. Thanks.
(Kristen W. from Canada)
I keep waiting for the Reds to give Chris Heisey the everyday LF job and just leave him alone. He's a mini Mike Morse type in my mind; I hope he gets 500 AB's this year although we'll see what effect the signing of Ryan Ludwick has on his PT. As for infielders, I like Nunez (see comments earlier in this chat), but many IF's are glove-first guys so it's harder to get excited about the backups. Heck, I was into Brad Emaus and Josh Rodriguez last year, and that didn't turn out very well! (Cory Schwartz)
2012-01-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)re: NL Central. I take it you don't feel the Reds have done enough to take over the division? Seems like they are primed for 90+ wins, especially considering how "unlucky" they were in 2011
(Newt from Orlando)
The Reds will be pretty good, but they still have some problems. There is still no OBP threat at the top of that order. The shortstop is unproven and coming off of a major injury. Ryan Ludwick doesn't seem to have much left. The rotation should be solid, but I'm not sure it will be solid enough. And I'm a long-time Dusty Baker skeptic. They probably have as good a chance as any team in the division, though.

Dave Pease points out to me that Extra Innings is already #37 in the Amazon baseball books top 100, which is very nice to see given that it's not out for two months. Thank you. (Steven Goldman)
2011-11-16 13:30:00 (link to chat)What other moves do you predict the Giants will make? Give me something.... Anything
(Tbirds from Seattle)
The Giants signed Gregor Blanco this morning. What, you want more? Starving children in San Diego have to make do with Mark Kotsay, and you're complaining? Finish your vegetables.

Are there any other lefty relievers out there they could sign? Does the sight of Ryan Ludwick excite you? (Ben Lindbergh)
2011-07-21 16:00:00 (link to chat)Jason, what's your view on Guyer? You mentioned above that he should be in the opening day line up next year in the OF. How will he fare? Will he be rosterable in fantasy next year?
(Derek from Vancouver)
He can play all three spots in the outfield. I think he falls somewhere in between what Ryan Ludwick and Alex Gordon are doing this season....say .270 with 15ish HRs over a full season given how The Trop punishes RH power these days. (Jason Collette)
2010-12-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)So you Red Sox joy counterbalances your Padres' sadness on the Gonzalez deal?
(formersd from San Diego)
There really isn't any Padres' sadness, honestly. Here is my thinking.

As great as Adrian Gonzalez is--and he's one of the top players in the game--he is one guy. The Padres had reason to believe the 2011 team could be a bit better, with an improved rotation, a full season of (healthy) Ryan Ludwick, Cameron Maybin possibly blossoming in center with another year in the majors, Kyle Blanks coming back from his TJ surgery, etc. If they acquire Brendan Ryan in a trade to man shortstop as is expected, and then sign someone like Derrek Lee to play first base, then you're talking about a team that could still win something like 82-85 games. Then, in 2012, you have Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Simon Castro and maybe Drew Cumberland coming up if he continues to tear up the minors. That is an exciting roster all of a sudden, and it was brought about without fielding a terrible team.

The Padres can trade Bell and Ludwick in July and still have a decent team, assuming Aaron Cunningham or Kyle Blanks can slot into Ludwick's place and they bump Mike Adams up to the role of closer. The gloom and doom mentality coming out of San Diego after the trade of Adrian Gonzalez is almost enough to make me start a Padres' blog in response. (Marc Normandin)
2010-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)The Jose Bautista explosion has seemingly come out of nowhere. Who was the last player to come close to Jose's breakout year at his ageage, and what happened to that guy after BY#1?
(Frank from Vegas)
I should be profiling Bautista soon, actually, so I've started to look into this. Ryan Ludwick comes to mind (he was a year younger when he broke out) but they have some pretty different situations despite some similarities. Both made some late-career adjustments though, and it's worked out well for Ludwick (his production since the breakout has been masked by the Cardinals new Busch Stadium, which is a pitcher's park that severely limits right-handed power hitters). (Marc Normandin)
2010-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Wouldn't a change in coaches/team have to factor in a player coming from nowhere? Matt Stairs, Jeff Kent, Ryan Ludwick, Joes Batista all went from one team to another. Not only do they get playing time but a new coach that could correct a defect.
(Bob from DC)
It's tough to measure that sort of thing, but it's something to look out for when it does happen. Ludwick had the benefit of being healthy as well. Bautista actually started hitting for more power before he went to Toronto--had a huge September in 2009. Coaches tend to get too much or too little credit it seems. There are times where they definitely make a difference with a player though. (Marc Normandin)
2010-05-11 16:30:00 (link to chat)So far it has been a rough fantasy season for me. I have had 5 players hit the DL already (Miguel Montero, Aaron Hill, Yunel Escobar, Carlos Beltran and Brad Hawpe). So I am playing with a lot of replacement level players. My main question is, should I keep Gordon Beckham and Jason Kubel? They have been in tremendous slumps. and if so, who should I replace them with? Is Ryan Ludwick a better option in the outfield? Please help.
(csatte1 from Baltimore, MD)
Gordon Beckham really seems like a young hitter who is adjusting. His BABIP is low because if too many grounders and pop-ups, but he should work that out. Jason Kubel just isn't hitting the ball as hard as last year. Fewer balls hit to the outfield, fewer HR. He's probably working out kinks in his swing, but I can't imagine he's as valuable as Beckham, even though I don't do fantasy baseball so I don't really know league scarcity that well. Ryan Ludwick seems he's just a little less patient hitter with maybe a little more power. Not sure how that plays in here. I guess Ludwick is better especially with Kubel needing to work out some kinks. (Matt Swartz)
2009-11-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think the Cardinals would be better off with Holliday or Beltre and a 2nd tier starting pitcher?
(jbuofm from Peoria)
Seeing as they are more than capable of turning garbage into 2nd tier starting pitchers, Holliday, as he could provide some protection for Albert Pujols and potentially prevent pitch-arounds to get to a regressed Ryan Ludwick. (Eric Seidman)
2009-09-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Christina, can you offer your take on two NL outfielders, Raul Ibanez and Garrett Jones? Both had surprising performances this year. Ibanez has been AWFUL in the second half. Maybe he's injured? Garrett Jones just hasn't let up. When the clock strikes 12, will he be a pumpkin again? Or is he here to stay (sort of a Ryan Ludwick type late-bloomer)? Thanks!
(Sharky from The Deep End)
Re: Ibanez, I'm reminded of one old Strat opponent who always liked to mildly observe, "it all evens out in the end." I never really bought into that (Willingham's season is going to look insanely great relative to the rest of his career no matter what, for example), but it certainly seems that somebody's applied a leveller of some sort. Jones might be a latter-day Paul Sorrento of sorts, in that he's always had employable power, and simply needed the opportunity; Jones has helped himself by being employable enough in an outfield corner, but first base is really the position he'll wind up at, sort of the same way Sorrento had to diversify. That's the nature of first base, if you're not someone like Pujols (superstar moving from another position) or Prince Fielder (drafter to be a superstar), you need to make a great impression with what opportunities you do get. Witness what's happened to Daric Barton, or how long it took Carlos Pena to finally stick; if you blow an opportunity, competition for playing time at first base is *fierce*. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-09-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Could Randy Ruiz be the next Ryan Ludwick?
(paulbellows from Calgary)
I very much doubt it. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-07-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)Any insights into the Khalil Greene situation? Without naming names, have you ever done interviews with players who looked like they were on the verge of a Greene-like meltdown? Is it something that an observer can see coming?
(Bill from New Mexico)
Interesting question. I almost interviewed Greene during spring training, only to opt for Ryan Ludwick and Todd Wellemyer instead -- this was for a BPR show.

I interviewed Milton Bradley last summer, also for a BPR, and while he was very thoughtful and pleasant in that interaction, he obviosly has the reputation of being volatile when provoked -- unfortunately, provoking is a hobby of a small handful of attention-seeking scribes. Hey, ballplayers are people. You have your good days and bad days, and sometimes life deals you a troubling hand that lasts weeks, months, or longer. Fortunately, teams employ people to help out when that happens. (David Laurila)
2009-02-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Having answered the Kershaw/Joba Q, same thing for outfielders: who has the better year, Jay Bruce or Colby Rasmus? Or is Raz going to continue to be behind the TLR eight-ball and get stuck in the minors again?
(Bill from New Mexico)
Bruce just because he's more certain to play. The Cardinals aren't doing the best job of aligning their talent at the moment, and I still think they should solve that by trading Ryan Ludwick for a middle-infield solution. Maybe that deal isn't available, but I'd try like hell to make it happen. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-12-04 13:30:00 (link to chat)If you were Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, would you trade Ryan Ludwick for Yunel Escobar and, presumably now that Greene is there, put him at second base? Interesting and highly-rumored potential deal.
(Chuck from Chicago)
In general, I would trade Ryan Ludwick. His value will never, ever be higher, and if you can get, forget Escobar, but even Kelly Johnson and a stocking stuffer, you make that deal. Easy. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-11-24 15:00:00 (link to chat)Who brings back more in a trade Rick Ankiel or Ryan Ludwick--and what kind of package would the Cards be looking at?
(Andy from Chicago)
Tough call. Ankiel has two more years of service time, roughly, while Ludwick is a year older. Ankiel can also play center, so excepting contracts, I think he's the very slightly more valuable commodity. As for packages, they could sure use some help in the middle infield. (Caleb Peiffer)
2008-11-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm not a huge believer in Ryan Ludwick having a repeat performance, but does it make much sense do you think to swap him for Holliday, outfielder for outfielder?
(metal1341 from STL)
That's a silly trade. Ludwick is a year older than Holliday. The Rockies aren't going to anything like that. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-11-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Lots of rumors floating around centering on a Ryan Ludwick or Matt Holiday or Kelly Johnson trade. Thoughts?
(Andy from Kansas City)
I think if you can get Kelly Johnson for Ryan Ludwick, you do it. He's a wildly underrated player, and the Cardinals desperately need to lengthen their lineup. They do that by adding a 2B who can hit. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-09-24 14:00:00 (link to chat)Speaking of non-prospects -- when Burrell walks, can Phils phans hope for 50% of Ryan Ludwick from Jon Knott? Isn't it time Knott got his chance somewhere?
(Steve D. from PA)
What's our evidence that Knott deserves that chance? His OPS in Triple-A over the last two years are around .800. So no, no chance he's the next Ludwick, and the Phillies should look elsewhere. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-08-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)Ryan Ludwick: sustainable or fluke?
(John from SanJuan)
Funny story, as you'll get a much more detailed explanation on that note in the near future. (Marc Normandin)
2008-07-29 16:00:00 (link to chat)Mets trade: Oliver Perez, Eddie Kunz Cardinals trade: Ryan Ludwick, Bryan Anderson
(skiier94 from NY)
No. (Will Carroll)
2008-06-20 13:30:00 (link to chat)Joe, you and Keith Law agree about the All Star Game that it should have "stars" who produced more in the past than players having great years like Ryan Ludwick. I simply don't understand how forward thinkers can believe this. How do you justify rewarding the entrenched old boys on reputation over objective performance? It seems to me the same argument as the one that got Rafael Palmeiro a Gold Glove with only 28 games at first base, which I believe you have mocked. How can you justify it? Isn't it out of line with everything else BP stands for, which is generally merit over hype?
(oira61 from San Francisco)
You're confusing "objective performance" with "200 good at-bats." If Ryan Ludwick is now a .300/.400/.600 player, he'll make the 2009 All-Star team. If he's not--he's not--he won't. If you don't get that BP isn't about glorifying two months' worth of work, then you have absolutely no idea how to evaluate "merit over hype." (Joe Sheehan)
2008-06-17 15:00:00 (link to chat)As regards "figuring out the WHY," what's your take on why/how St. Louis is overperforming so much?
(Bill from New Mexico)
The Cards have done a great job with a rotation that's largely retreads, converted relievers, and booger-eating spazzes, guys like Braden Looper and Todd Wellemeyer into solid contributors. Credit Dave Duncan, who was able to get enough out of Jeff Weaver to bring home an unlikely World Championship while every other team that's had him since Detroit has been bitterly disappointed. The bottom line is that the Cards aren't beating themselves - they're second in the NL in fewest walks allowed even while running second-to-last in strikeouts.

The other thing that's noteworthy is the way Tony LaRussa has pieced together his outfield. I'm not the biggest TLR fan in the world, and I'm still a little skeptical that guys like Ryan Ludwick and Skip Schumaker can keep it up for a full year, but this is hardly the 70-something win team I foresaw. (Jay Jaffe)


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