Results tagged ‘ Ryan Ludwick ’

Note of the night/Stat of the day, July 27

Note of the night: Lots of apparent injuries and injury scares tonight, but after asking about them all, it sounds like everybody is OK.

Yadier Molina came out of the game early not because of injury, but just because the game was already starting to get a bit out of hand. TLR figured he would “save him some innings” while also getting Jason LaRue a chance to play. It’s a pretty fair guess that LaRue’s next start won’t come till at least Saturday.
Brendan Ryan was struck on the fingernail of his index finger by a pitch, but came through it just fine and stayed in the game. Sounded like it was a nonissue.
Albert Pujols appeared to wince when he ran out a grounder in the third inning, but TLR also said that Pujols was fine. 
“I asked him if he was OK,” La Russa said. “Said he was good to go.”
Stat of the day: Adam Wainwright has allowed nine homers in 72 innings on the road. At home, he’s allowed two homers in 81 1/3 innings.

Fun with double situational splits: Against lefties in night games this season, Ryan Ludwick is 7-for-42 (.167) with a .275 on-base percentage and a .333 slugging percentage.

And, finally, the playlist:
There’s just a ton of good new music out this year, so today’s playlist is a selection of one track from each of my five favorite albums thus far in 2010 (in order, No. 5 up to No. 1).
Sleigh Bells, “Tell ‘Em” (from “Treats”)
Drive-By Truckers, “Birthday Boy” (from “The Big To-Do”)
The Black Keys, “Sinister Kid” (from “Brothers”)
Gorillaz, “On Melancholy Hill” (from “Plastic Beach”)
Big Boi, “Shine Blockers” (from “Sir Lucious Left Foot”)

-M.

Ludwick to DL, Greene up, Salas down

he Cardinals made one move and announced another on Friday afternoon.
The club recalled infielder Tyler Greene from Triple-A Memphis and optioned reliever Fernando Salas to Memphis, getting back to the preferred ratio of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. More importantly, though, manager Tony La Russa told reporters that outfielder Ryan Ludwick has encountered a setback in his recovery from a right calf strain, and Ludwick will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Ludwick likely will not officially be placed on the DL until Saturday, because the Cardinals were not able to get a player to St. Louis in time to take his place. La Russa said that Ludwick was jogging on a treadmill as part of his rehabilitation when he aggravated the injury.
The move will be retroactive to Saturday. Ludwick last played one week ago, on June 25 in Kansas City. He first suffered the injury on June 22 in Toronto. He would be eligible to come off the DL on July 11, the last day before the All-Star break.
La Russa said that the Cardinals will most likely call up an outfielder to take Ludwick’s place on the roster. The leading candidates for a promotion would be Jon Jay, Allen Craig and Joe Mather, all of whom have played for the big league club this year.

Note of the night/Stat of the day, June 30

Note of the Night: The Cardinals are playing with a short bench right now. Just how short wasn’t entirely evident until Wednesday afternoon.

With two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, in a two-run game, Ryan Ludwick remained on the bench. The official word earlier in this series was that Ludwick might be available to pinch-hit if needed — and it’s hard to imagine a scenario that set up better than the one at the end of Wednesday’s game.
Yet he stayed on the bench.
“I felt pretty dang good today,” Ludwick said after the game. “I’m just kind of getting rest. The last two days I’ve told people, a couple days of rest.”
It’s understandable not to push Ludwick. But if he’s completely unavailable, even in a two-out, two-on, bottom-of-the-ninth situation, it seems to scream for the addition of another hitter. The Cardinals may do that after Blake Hawksworth’s start on Thursday, but they found themselves in a situation where they could have used it on Wednesday.
Stat of the day: Perception is a funny thing. 
The Cardinals are batting .309 with the bases loaded this year (third-highest in the National League). They have a .582 bases-loaded slugging percentage (second in the league) and a .344 OBP (fourth). 

They’re at 266/369/452 with runners in scoring position on the year, ranking eighth in average, fifth in OBP and third in slugging. That’s as opposed to a 260/334/410 line overall.
The problem is not the timing of the hits. It’s the spots in the lineup that have been entirely unproductive.
Fun with double situational splits: Yadier Molina went 1-for-28 against left-handers in June, though at least the one hit was a homer.
And, finally, the playlist:
Hot Chip, “I Feel Better”
LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yrself Clean”
Fever Ray, “When I Grow Up”
Gossip, “Dimestore Diamond”
Caribou, “Odessa”
-M.

Stats of the day, May 28

No note of the night today, so I apologize for that. As usual, to make it up, let’s squeeze in a few different stats of the day.

Stat of the Day 1: The Cardinals are 95-41 when Chris Carpenter starts for them, a .698 winning percentage — equivalent to a 113-49 regular season. Over that same span, since the start of the 2004 season, they’re 476-408 when anyone else starts for them — a .538 winning percentage, equivalent to an 87-75 regular season.
Stat of the Day 2: Ryan Ludwick is 3-for-33 with four walks, 11 strikeouts and no extra-base hits when he leads off an inning this year: a line of .091/.189/.091. In all bases-empty situations, he’s at a better but still dismal .208/.270/.358. With runners in scoring position, though, he’s at .417/.512/.778. 

Stat of the Day 3: Jason Motte has 15 strikeouts and one walk over his last 12 appearances, spanning 11 innings.

Fun with double situational splits: Brendan Ryan is batting .353 with a .450 on-base percentage and a .529 slugging percentage in day games against left-handed pitchers.

And, finally, the playlist:
It’s a Chicago special, leading with Kanye’s outstanding new track.
Kanye West, “Power”
Ministry, “N.W.O.”
Rise Against, “Long Forgotten Sons”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Bodies”
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, “After The Flesh”
-M.

Note of the night/Stat of the day, May 17

Note of the night: When Ryan Ludwick had a little time to think about it, catch his breath, and see how he felt, he knew he was OK. Until a moment had passed, though, Ludwick had one reaction to being hit on the left hand by a pitch from Nationals rookie Drew Storen: fear.

“I think the intial reaction is just, kind of, scared,” Ludwick said. “I’ve been hit in this wrist before. I’ve broken that, had to have surgery, by a fastball that came up and in on me. I think any time anything is around the wrist or hands, the initial reaction when it hits you is somewhat of a panic.”
Fortunately, when Ludwick did take a moment, he realized the ball had hit him on the “meat” of his hand, rather than a place where he might be in jeopardy of a fracture. He stayed in the game and, of course, made a spectacular diving catch in right field in the next half-inning.
“A little bit of bruising in there,” he said. “Not a lot.”
Stats of the day: TLR talked up the possibility of Ludwick as a Gold Glover if he keeps playing the way he has. While it’s very unlikely that Ludwick will win a Gold Glove playing right field, the numbers indicate that the manager isn’t off as far as how Ludwick is playing.

UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) has Ludwick rated as +2.7 runs in right field so far in 2010, seventh among Major League right fielders. But John Dewan’s plus-minus system rates Ludwick as +9 (plus-minus rates by plays, not runs), which is tied with Ichiro Suzuki and Jay Bruce for the best in the Major Leagues.

As for another Cardinal whose defense gets discussed quite a bit… Skip Schumaker has a UZR of -0.9 on the year, which is to say that according to UZR he is right about one run below average defensively so far on the young season. According to the plus-minus rating, Schumaker is a +2 and has saved two runs.
Also per plus-minus, Schumaker has made a massive improvement on balls to his left. Last year, he was -16 to his left. This year, at just about the one-fourth mark, he’s -1 to his left.

(On all of those numbers, that’s entering today)
Fun with double situational splits: Ludwick is crushing right-handed pitching at home this year. He’s 21-for-51 (.412) with eight walks and 10 extra base hits for a .500 on-base percentage and a .706 slugging percentage.
And, finally, the playlist…
Tomorrow, you better believe it’ll be Stones-related, in honor of the Exile On Main Street re-release. Tonight, though, it’s a hat tip to the great “Darkwave” program that runs on Sunday nights on the Sirius/XM channel First Wave. Had it blasting for the last 3 hours of the drive home from Cincy last night. Here are five selections that got turned up especially loud:
Shriekback, “Nemesis”
Sisters of Mercy, “Lucretia My Reflection”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “April Skies”
Duran Duran, “New Religion”
Nine Inch Nails, “That’s What I Get”
-M.

Sunday Chess Match: Deploying, Or Not Deploying, Lud

The situation: Top of the fifth inning, Cardinals trailing, 4-0. Skip Schumaker and Jason LaRue reach base to open the inning, so St. Louis has runners on first and second with no outs and the eighth and ninth spots coming to bat. Ryan Ludwick is among the hitters available on the bench.

The decision: Brad Penny and Tyler Greene were both left in to hit.
The outcome: Penny singles and Greene hits into a run-scoring force play, but Colby Rasmus hits into a fielders choice and Jon Jay strikes out. The Cardinals get only one run from the inning, and Penny lasts only one more inning.
The analysis: Penny had not been sharp over the first four innings. He gave up three more runs in the fifth, and it really wasn’t a surprise. He just didn’t have a good game. So there’s a case to be made that with a chance to change the dynamic of the game, it’s time to go to Ludwick.
Another alternative was to hit Ludwick for Greene with the bases loaded. The opportunity is even bigger there, obviously, since there are three on instead of two. At the same time, it was clear that TLR didn’t want Brendan Ryan to play in this game. If you hit for Greene, you’re looking at Ryan for the next five innings, and that’s an outcome that wasn’t very desirable for the manager.
TLR’s pattern over the years has been to “save a bullet.” When he has a major weapon on his bench, someone like Ludwick, he prefers to have that player available in the eighth or ninth.
That doesn’t seem to have been the deciding factor today, though. Instead, it seems that La Russa simply had some players that he really wanted to rest or keep out of the game. By going to the bench in the fifth, he might have forfeited that chance.
The comment: “If the game had gotten away, I was going to use the other guys to give a couple guys off.”
My verdict: If TLR really prioritized the off day for his guys that highly, I can’t argue with that notion. He knows his players’ health and fitness better than I do, and if they needed the rest in the middle of a stretch of 13 days without an off day, that’s a defensible stance. I’m just not entirely sold that it would have jeopardized that off day so much. I think you could have used Ludwick as a pinch-hitter there and not wrecked the whole afternoon’s plan.

And if it was simply tactical, I definitely disagree. I would have hit for Penny, even though Penny got a hit. He was clearly scuffling, and if you’re going to ask for 3-4 innings from the bullpen, why not ask for 4-5? That’s your chance to give the game a totally different look on one swing.

Once Penny stayed in, I would not have hit for Greene. Ryan is really, really fighting it right now, and I’m all on board with giving him the full day. 

-M.

Monday Spring Training tidbits: Hawksworth, Molina, plenty more

It was a very busy day for the scribes today, with lots of developments coming out of our morning chat with TLR. Some of it has already been covered here and on the site: Kyle McClellan is moving to the bullpen, which clears the way for Garcia to start. And Chris Carpenter will start Opening Day, with Adam Wainwright starting the home opener seven days later.

We got a lot of rain this morning, but it’s tailed off and we got a game in. Still overcast, with a forecast for clear, slightly cooler days between now and the end of camp.
* Blake Hawksworth has some soreness in his right groin that has bothered him for the past five days. He first felt it when he was pitching on Wednesday against the Orioles. He stayed in that game, and pitched again three days later, but it flared up in that Saturday appearance and he’s currently sidelined.
Still, Hawksworth doesn’t sound too worried. He’s been able to do his cardiovascular exercises, with the only real remaining hurdle being pushing off his right leg when he pitches.
“I was on the elliptical,” he said. “I’m still able to run. I’m not, like, [incapacitated]. We just want to give it a couple of days. I pitched that day and got through it. It was fine. we just want to be careful to make sure it doesn’t become worse.
“Yesterday, not doing anything, I made so much improvement. So just take it light today, and tomorrow hopefully it will be a lot better again.”
Hawksworth was not listed as an available reliever on Monday’s lineup card.
* There’s not really anything new on Yadier Molina, except that he’s a little better every day. TLR did say that he’d be willing to wait all the way up to Opening Day before making a decision on Molina. He said the catcher wouldn’t have to swing a bat until that very day, and he could still be on the roster.
“I think there’s still a real chance [he could play Opening Day],” La Russa said. “That’s what the training staff told me, that there’s still a chance. He’s feeling better.”
The Cardinals will likely take four catchers to Minnesota: Molina, Jason LaRue, Matt Pagnozzi and an emergency/bullpen catcher.
* Ryan Ludwick is back in the lineup today, a day after fouling a ball hard off his left shin.
* The manager was asked this morning whether the remaining bench decision is 3 player for 2 spots, or 2 players for 1 spot. He said it’s 3-for-2, meaning that he does not consider Mather to be safely on the team yet. This isn’t a surprise, and I still consider Mather’s chances excellent.
But publicly, it’s still down to Mather, Allen Craig and Nick Stavinoha for two roster spots.
* TLR acknowledged that there’s a good chance that against many right-handers this year, the middle of the lineup will be ordered like it is today: Holliday fourth, Rasmus fifth, Ludwick sixth. I like that a lot, personally. I think it’s a good way to set it up, with Lopez or Ryan or Lugo in the 2-spot, and Molina/Freese 7th-8th in one order or the other.
* As for McClellan, he was clearly disappointed not to be starting, but also very graceful in his handling of it. 
“The writing has been kind of on the wall the last few days,” he said. “As well as Jaime’s pitched all spring, it’s been pretty obvious that with him on our staff, in our rotation, it’s going to be a very solid rotation. And I can go back to the bullpen and improve on what I’ve done the last two years.”
* General Hal Moore, the central figure in the movie “We Were Soldiers” (and of course the book of similar title on which it was based), made his annual visit to Cardinals camp today. He’s a favorite of TLR’s as well as the players.
And that’s all the baseball for today. Time for the playlist.
The Hold Steady, “Rock Problems”
The Hold Steady, “Hurricane J”
New Pornographers, “The Crash Years”
Drive-By Truckers, “Working This Job”
Gorillaz, “Stylo” (Love. This. Song.)
-M.

Sunday camp tidbits: Lohse, the fifth starter, Ludwick

It was cloudy all day here at Port St. Lucie, but fortunately the rains never came. They weren’t so lucky on the other side of the state, and it sounds like there’s at least a possiblity that we may get it tomorrow. For now, though, a small victory.

* Kyle Lohse was pretty solid on Sunday, and he seemed to get better as he went along. He was pleased with most of his pitches, and one thing he noted is that he’s trying to re-incorporate his four-seam fastball into his repertoire.
“I probably threw like five all year [in 2009],” Lohse said.
It didn’t quite work every time for him — the home run he allowed came on a four-seamer. But he’d like to have it as an alternative, especially to run in on left-handed pitchers.
* Also on Lohse: barring something surprising, he will start the Friday night game in Minnesota. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a veteran to stay back and pitch in a Minor League game in Florida instead of going on a post-spring, pre-Opening Day trip, but as of now, Lohse is on for a reunion with his first Major League team.
* TLR remains cagey almost to the point of combativeness when it comes to talking about who will be the fifth starter. I’ll have a story on this topic on the site later tonight, but this much is known: Garcia, Hill and McClellan are all scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Garcia will start the game against the Twins. He’s not giving up how Hill and McClellan will be used — be it in long, getting-stretched-out relief, short relief, a Minor League game, a live-BP session, whatever. He’s not giving it up. So, there’s something for tomorrow.
* I have something up on the site already about Ryan Ludwick, so if you’re wondering about why he came out of today’s game in the third inning, go over and check that out.
We also talked to Ludwick about his hitting this spring, and he said he’s putting a lot of effort into cutting down his strikeouts. He’s trying to be especially intentional about having a good approach with two strikes, and proudly noted that he’s only struck out three times in 59 plate appearances this spring.
How that translates to the season remains to be seen, but it’s definitely something he’s working on.
Now, today’s playlist. If you don’t like the playlist, you can just stop reading now and it won’t hurt my feelings one bit. The baseball is done in this blog entry (though I’ll have another one on Pujols a little later this evening).
I was driving up this morning, and “Let’s Go Crazy” came on, and suddenly I was all about Prince. So for no good reason, a Prince playlist. But really, who needs a reason for Prince?
“Let’s Go Crazy”
“Alphabet Street”
“U Got The Look”
“7″
“Musicology”
-M.

Ludwick avoids arbitration

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals and outfielder Ryan Ludwick avoided arbitration on Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year contract for the 2010 season. The deal will pay Ludwick $5.45 million. The club announced the deal on its official Twitter feed.

Unlike 2009, club and player didn’t even get to the point of exchanging arbitration figures. A year ago, Ludwick and team representatives actually traveled to Arizona, expecting to attend an arbitration hearing, before settling in the final hours before the scheduled session.

Ludwick, 31, saw his numbers dip in his second full season with the Cardinals, but still managed 97 RBIs. He hit .265 with a .329 on-base percentage and a .447 slugging percentage, 22 home runs, 20 doubles and 63 runs scored.

The right-handed hitter will likely bat fifth for the Cardinals in 2010 as the team’s starting right fielder. He made $3.7 million in 2009.

Second baseman Skip Schumaker is the only remaining Cardinals player eligible for arbitration. Schumaker said on Sunday that he is close to getting a deal done to avoid arbitration.

NLDS Game 2 Tidbits: Lugo, Thome, Ludwick

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

It’s an absolutely perfect day at Dodger Stadium. Seriously, 71 degrees, clear, spectacular. Great day for baseball.

*
Julio Lugo gets the start at second base today against left-hander
Clayton Kershaw, in place of Skip Schumaker. It was Schumaker against a
lefty yesterday, and in fact Randy Wolf has a bigger left-right split
than Kershaw. However, Kershaw is, in TLR’s parlance, “one of those
wipeout kind of lefties,” while Wolf isn’t so much in style.

* Jim Thome talked a little about facing the Cardinals, since he hails from Peoria, Ill.

“St.
Louis has been a great baseball town. I’ve enjoyed being in there
whether it was Interleague with Cleveland, with Philadelphia. This will
be my first time to the new park. I’m looking forward to that, and I’ve
got a lot of friends around the St. Louis area that are excited as well.

“So
it’s going to be a neat experience. It always has. I’ve always said St.
Louis is probably fans-wise one of the better baseball cities in the
game. So it’s fun to go there and feel that atmosphere towards
baseball. They did a wonderful job there.”

Another Thome note:
For his regular-season CAREER, he has a .430/.565/1.010 line in 131
plate appearances against the Cardinals. That’s a 1.575 OPS.

*
Ryan Ludwick talked a little bit more about the ball he hit down the
line last night, but both he and TLR said they have yet to see a
conclusive replay on it. I haven’t either — anyone find some way to
get a really good look at it?

Today’s playlist is all GNR in honor of Slash’s playing of the anthem today:
“Rocket Queen”
“Used To Love Her”
“Dead Horse”
“Civil War”
“Coma”

-M.

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