Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder on Opening Day and sat out the next four months, so you can understand why he was thrilled to contribute in a meaningful way in Saturday night’s 6-3 victory over the visiting Brewers.
Playing in just his ninth game of the 2013 regular season, Ludwick hammered a game-tying solo home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning and later told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he “felt like Superman.”
“I’m not where I want to be, but did I expect to be in mid-season form right now? Maybe a little bit,” Ludwick continued. “I think that’s a lot of expectations to put on myself. I think I got down on myself a little early and I started out slow.”
Ludwick posted an .877 OPS with 26 homer and 80 RBI in 125 games last season.
He can play a major role in deciding the increasingly-tight National League Central race.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”