Cincinnati Reds’ Ryan Ludwick Makes Much Anticipated Return Tonight

Ryan Ludwick

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Ludwick returns this evening for the Cincinnati Reds against the Chicago Cubs. He will bat sixth and man left field.

As expected, Derrick Robinson was optioned down to the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate Louisville Bats.  Robinson batted .254 on the year and was the team’s fastest player. He was the team’s best at laying down a bunt — something the Reds have struggled with mightily in recent years.

“That was a tough decision to send Robinson back,” Reds manager Dusty Baker told Fox Sports Ohio. “But he will be back in a couple of weeks and on our playoff roster. His shoulder was bothering him some and we gave him a couple of days off. He was the only one who had options. Sometimes, you can’t make the moves that you want.”

Ludwick has not been able to drive the ball in the minors, but he can’t be much worse than what the team has gotten out of their left fielders so far this year.

The Reds have had a miserable time trying to fill in for the loss of Ludwick’s production. Coming into Monday’s game against the Cubs, their left fielders have amassed only 10 home runs while batting an abysmal .241 in 117 games.

This will mark only the second game that Ludwick has played in 2013 after tearing his labrum on opening day sliding into third base. He has worked extremely hard to get back before the playoffs, and his teammates will no doubt be happy to see his bat back in the lineup, even with his numbers in the minors.

The Reds are entering a stretch of seven games against the NL Central’s worst two teams in the Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers and are still mired in third place in the division. However, they are only five games back of the division leading Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals are playing their worst ball of the year.

With the expanded roster in September not too far off and the team getting set-up man Jonathan Broxton and Ludwick back, the Reds look primed to make a run.

Will Reeve is a Cincinnati Reds writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @WillReeveJr, “like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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