Out since Opening Day, Ryan Ludwick is ready for rehab

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Ryan Ludwick has been on the disabled list since separating his shoulder on Opening Day, but the Reds outfielder is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday at Single-A.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that he’s been hitting for two weeks and began taking batting practice with the Reds a few days ago, but according to Ludwick “it’s obviously going to be a longer rehab assignment.”

He’ll get a maximum of 20 days to rehab, although that clock can be restarted at any time if there’s a setback or a new injury. Either way, it sounds like early August is probably the targeted return date right now.

Ludwick hit .275 with 26 homers and an .877 OPS in 125 games last season, re-signing with the Reds on a two-year, $15 million deal. In his absence Cincinnati’s left fielders have hit a combined .245 with nine homers and a .700 OPS in 98 games.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.