Ryan Ludwick calls out Cincinnati fans for lack of energy

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This is never, ever a good idea. Total no-win situation for a player. But Ryan Ludwick does it anyway, calling for enthusiastic Reds fans this weekend because, well, the enthusiasm against the Mets this week was a little lacking:

One can argue that this worked for David Justice and the Braves in 1995, but it took Tom Glavine saving his bacon in Game 6 for him not to become persona non grata. Otherwise: nope, no fan base in the world is gonna say “Hey, Ludwick is right! We’re too lackadaisical!”

And let’s face it, Ryan. You dropped two of three to a Mets team that’s deader than vaudeville. You want enthusiasm? Give your fans a reason to show it.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin a throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.