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.
Rian Watt of Baseball Prospectus is hearing that a trade that would send Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs involves prospect Gleyber Torres and more going to the Yankees. He adds that the holdup in the trade talks is centered around a contract extension for Chapman, believed to be around four years in length and $60 million total. The deal may not be finalized if the Cubs don’t get him signed to an extension they like. In Watt’s words, “Package is set. Extension is not.”
We learned earlier on Sunday that the Yankees were working hard to trade Chapman, reportedly in contact with at least four teams. The Cubs were not believed to be the front runners but certainly upped the ante by offering Torres.
Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances.
Torres is currently roadblocked at shortstop by Addison Russell, and 21-year-old Ian Happ is rated #3 in the Cubs’ system, so the club would be dealing from surplus.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners, the Blue Jays designated reliever Drew Storen for assignment and recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo.
Storen, 28, had a nightmare of a time with the Jays, leaving with a 6.21 ERA and a 32/10 K/BB ratio over 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him in January from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Storen is owed the remainder of his $8.375 million salary, which makes it likelier that the right-hander will pass through waivers unclaimed. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season.