Ryan Ludwick out three months following shoulder surgery

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Ryan Ludwick suffered a dislocated right shoulder while sliding into third base yesterday and the Reds announced that he’ll undergo surgery tomorrow to repair torn cartilage.

There’s no official timetable for his return yet, but the Reds placed Ludwick on the disabled list and obviously he’s going to be out for a while.

Chris Heisey is the obvious fill in, although if Ludwick’s injury keeps him out for months rather than weeks the Reds could eventually turn to top prospect Billy Hamilton in center field, with Shin-Soo Choo shifting to left field.

For now though Hamilton is at Triple-A, making life miserable for International League catchers, and Heisey will get a chance to play regularly after hitting .258 with a .750 OPS in 338 games as a part-timer during the past three seasons.

Ludwick had a big bounceback year in 2012, hitting .275 with 26 homers and an .877 OPS, and then re-signed with the Reds for $15 million over two seasons.

UPDATE: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Ludwick is expected to miss three months.

MLB, MLBPA grant Pirates exemption for Jung Ho Kang to participate in Dominican Winter League

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.

Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.

Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.

Nationals do not activate Bryce Harper for Monday’s game

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The Nationals were expected to activate outfielder Bryce Harper from the 10-day disabled list in advance of Monday’s series opener in Philadelphia, but they did not because Harper woke up with flulike symptoms, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports. It doesn’t have anything to do with the knee injury which sent him to the DL last month or the ensuing rehab, he adds.

Rain had fallen in Washington, D.C. on August 12 ahead of the Nationals’ game against the Giants. Harper attempted to beat out a ground out to first base but slipped on the wet first base bag and was later diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Harper was in the midst of a great season prior to the injury, perhaps one that would have led to an NL MVP Award. When he comes back, he’ll do what he can to pad his .326/.419/.614 slash line along with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. The Nationals are just concerned with getting him back in the flow of things in time for the playoffs. They have seven games remaining in the regular season.