The assumption after Ryan Ludwick underwent April shoulder surgery was that he would miss around three months. But it’s going to be closer to five.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer spoke to Ludwick Saturday about his timetable. “People seem to be under the impression that I’ll be back in the middle of July and that’s a complete lie,” Ludwick said. “I can’t even resume baseball activities until July 3, so it’s at least the middle of August.”
“I can’t even throw a baseball or swing a bat until July,” the 34-year-old continued. “I’ve got a whole lot of stuff to do. … You take three, four months from throwing a baseball, it’s going to take a while to get your arm back in shape.”
Ludwick signed a two-year, $15 million free agent contract with the Reds in December after batting .275/.346/.531 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 125 games last season. Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson will continue to split time in left field until Chris Heisey is recovered from his right hamstring strain.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.