August 6, 2013

Putting the pressure on Ludwick

Cingrani plays a water gun battle against some kids at King's Island

The Reds were pretty smart about whom they sent out to Reds Day at King’s Island. The attendees, like Cingrani here, were the ones who performed the best most recently and therefore least likely to draw scorn.

Yesterday was Reds day at King’s Island. It seems like every year that they have this event it coincides with the team foundering.

To Reds’ fans’ credit, I only saw five or six “they should have been practicing instead” comments in response to the photo album on Facebook. There were another four or five “why do they hate us?” kinds of comments and a few “Fire Dusty!” comments for good measure.

I only noticed one, “Don’t worry, Ryan Ludwick is going to come back and fix everything” comment. That one may be the scariest of all, because I think that a lot of people are hoping for that, whether they say it out loud or not.

Trouble is, Ludwick is not having an easy time of it in his minor-league rehab. He’s currently 2-for-28 with 3 walks in his rehab assignment. He’s not exactly looking like a savior at the moment.

Much to my surprise, I ran into a business associate this weekend whose husband knows Ludwick personally. The two of them arranged to see him play while he was in Indianapolis with the Bats. I, too, attended one of his games, albeit sitting on the overcrowded berm rather than behind home plate, and got to witness his utter lack of hitting for myself.

By the way, I checked in with her again after she talked with Ludwick. She reports that he’s more frustrated than anyone. Of course, he’s not unaware of the hope that the fan base is putting on him.

So, I guess I’m writing this as a warning about getting your hopes up too much. There’s still time for Ludwick to go on a tear before rejoining the team, but the poor guy hasn’t played since Opening Day. None of this is his fault.

Till then, here’s hoping that a quick two-game series at home against a team that is as jet-legged coming to Ohio as the Reds were going to California will turn around the team’s momentum.

Mat Latos (RHP, 10-3, 3.37 ERA) takes on Dan Straily (RHP, 6-5, 4.41 ERA) of the A’s. First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

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