That’s what the Reds are hoping for as they start the post-All-Star break of the season.
They are still very much in the playoff chase, but the Reds wish they were playing better baseball. If they can get healthy and stay away from injuries, that would definitely help. Their bout with the injury bug started on the first day of the season when Ryan Ludwick injured his right shoulder and had to have surgery. He isn’t expected back until sometime next month.
But that’s a factor that has hurt the team since it lost its left fielder, cleanup hitter and clubhouse leader when Ludwick went out of the lineup. Everyone knew at the time it would be a devastating loss for the Reds.
Ludwick hadn’t even had an at bat prior to his injury. This came to a player who last season appeared in 125 of his team’s games and had 422 hits for a .275 batting average, .346 on-base percentage and .486 slugging percentage with 26 home runs and 80 RBI.
The Reds have said Ludwick is progressing quickly in his shoulder rehab. They badly need him back in the lineup and soon. If he gets back and can get the groove right away, the Reds will obviously be a much better ball team. He’s too much of a quality ball player to lose without it having a significant impact on a team. It’s not the only reason the Reds have struggled, but the absence of Ludwick certainly hasn’t helped.