Ludwick’s hand stuck in the dirt on his headfirst slide into third base in the third inning, making his shoulder pop out of place. He left the game and will have an MRI on Tuesday to determine the significance of the injury.
Dusty Baker said of Ludwick’s injury via foxsportsohio.com,
“You hate to see a guy come off the field holding his arm … it’s disheartening. We’ve done so well the last couple of years with injuries.”
Ludwick himself said of the injury,
“The ground was a little wet, and when I hit the ground my hand stopped … normally, it slides with you. My shoulder popped out. This wasn’t the best opening day.”
So now that Ludwick is out for what could be a while, what does this mean for the Reds? Like Baker said, the Reds avoided major injuries last season en route to winning 97 games last year. When Joey Votto went down with an injury, Ludwick became the top run-producer during that stretch and became a leader of that team when Votto was gone.
Now that Ludwick is hurt, one would have to assume that this is Chris Heisey‘s chance to make a name for himself again. Heisey has mostly been used a batter off the bench during his time as a member of the Reds. He has had a few chances in the past to make a case for to become an everyday player, but has not really risen to occasion when given a chance to be a starter.
Heisey stepped in when Ludwick went out with the injury and went 0-3 with two strike outs on the day. The Reds are going to have to look for answers somewhere else for the time being. Hopefully the Ludwick injury isn’t too serious, and Heisey can do enough to fill in the hole.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter, @bs_rant1