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.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.