The Reds’ starting left fielder could be looking at an extended absence.
According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Ryan Ludwick was diagnosed with a dislocated right shoulder after he injured it on a head-first slide into third base in the third inning of today’s season opener against the Angels. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury.
Chris Heisey replaced Ludwick in the lineup and figures to get regular playing time in left field during his absence. Top prospect Billy Hamilton might be an option for a call-up at some point, but he could benefit by getting more playing time in center field in the minors. However, the Reds could be in the mix for an outfielder like Casper Wells, who was designated for assignment by the Mariners over the weekend.
Ludwick, 34, batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 home runs, 80 RBI and an .877 OPS last season. The Reds brought him back this winter with a two-year, $15 million contract.
A number of teams are making calls about Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson these days, as is the general nature of the offseason. Per Jason Kinander of FanSided, there have been some preliminary trade discussions between the Dodgers and the White Sox, though a formal deal doesn’t appear imminent and any potential competition from other clubs is still unknown.
Pederson, 26, has enjoyed quite a run with the Dodgers over the last five years. A perennial 25-home run hitter (when healthy), he slashed .248/.321/.522 with 56 RBI, an .843 OPS, and 2.7 fWAR through 443 plate appearances during the 2018 regular season. Following the Dodgers’ unsuccessful postseason campaign, Pederson agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract in advance of the arbitration deadline, and is currently slated to remain under team control through the 2020 season.
Despite his relative affordability and clear value to the club, shedding Pederson from their roster would allow the Dodgers to pursue the kind of right-handed hitters they need to balance out their 2019 lineup. It’s not certain what the White Sox are prepared to give up, but Kinander mentions right-hander Carson Fulmer, lefty reliever Aaron Bummer, and recent draft pick/third baseman Bryce Bush as a few possibilities.