Tag:Ryan Ludwick
Posted on: April 16, 2011 1:14 pm

Pepper: Harper in the spotlight

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bryce HarperWhat did you do with your days off?

Me, I did what many of you probably did, went to a baseball game. I drove about an hour to go see Bryce Harper play. I was planning on going Monday, but the game was rained out and then I had an off day on Thursday, the last of a four-game series against the Lexington Legends.

On Wednesday, I got a text from a friend that said he just saw Harper's first professional home run. I did not. I did see a double and nearly saw his first fight.

After walking in the third inning, Harper was picked off third and with no chance to score or get out of it, he decided his best chance was to bowl over the catcher, Chris Wallace.

Wallace barely budged, and then got up in Harper's face. Harper, though, just walked away as soon as the umpire got between them. Both benches were warned and nothing further happened.

Harper's going to be a marked man every place he goes this year, that's part of the minor leagues. In the minor leagues you have someone very close yelling very loudly while very drunk. Harper didn't react, and that's for the best. He'll be the target for fans and players. Every pitcher will be giving him their best, every catcher will welcome a play at the plate, and everything Harper does will be magnified.

On Thursday, Harper did the smart thing and walked away. That's not to say he didn't get yelled at by drunk frat boys in the stands, but he was smart. He gains nothing by getting in a fight there, while Wallace could make his name by taking on the millionaire and most famous player in the minor leagues.

I wanted to talk to Harper about that and what it's liked being a marked man -- something he's definitely going to because of the money, his fame and the perceived arrogance (and it'd be fair to say I heard that word used several times on Thursday from folks around the ballpark). But despite the Nationals asking visiting teams to set up a press conference-type table with backdrop for Harper to deal with every night, he declined on Thursday. I'm not upset, I've been stood up by better, but I wish he would have told me earlier. Instead, I waited an hour to be blown off.

That said, I've got to give him some serious credit, as I waited for his whim, he signed autographs and posed for pictures for each of the nearly 50 people waiting by the team's bus. It's certainly going to be an interesting year for a kid who just turned 18 -- I can say I saw him when… Just like I knew I could when I went to see Gregg Jefferies back in the day when he was the top prospect in baseball.

Also, Evan posted this the other day, but here's some video I took (and the picture is from my hipster iPhone app, Instagram -- I'm ctrosecrans, if you're into that kind of thing):

Harper made his home debut on Friday, and the Washington Post's Dave Sheinin was there to see him go 0 for 3. He's now hitting .226 and I was there for his first pro double, if not the homer.

ANOTHER DOUBLEHEADER -- The Brewers and Nationals have already been rained out today and will play a doubleheader tomorrow. [MLB.com]

YOUNG TO DL -- Chris Young is headed back to the disabled list. The Mets placed the right-hander on the 15-day DL, retroactive to April 11, with right biceps tendonitis. The Mets called up lefty Pat Misch. Misch has started one game for Triple-A Buffalo. The team needs a starter for Sunday.

CATCHER NEEDED -- Could Bengie Molina be a fit for the Twins with Joe Mauer on the DL? Another possibility would be Ivan Rodriguez. [St. Paul Pioneer Press]

LUDWICK STRUGGLING -- Many people -- myself included -- killed John Mozeliak for trading away Ryan Ludwick last season to get Jake Westbrook. So far, Mozeliak has looked good as Ludwick has looked bad. Ludwick is hitting .194/.296/.325 since joining the Padres. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

CHAPMAN OK -- Aroldis Chapman says he's feeling fine. His lack of velocity was just from throwing a couple of days in a row. When I talked to Walt Jocketty on Thursday, he said Chapman should be fine to pitch on Sunday. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

SMALL CROWDS -- There are plenty of good seats available at Houston's Minute Maid Parik. [Houston Chronicle]

NO APOLOGY NEEDED -- Cubs manager Mike Quade said he appreciated Carlos Zambrano's apology, but it wasn't needed. Zambrano left the mound before Quade got there when he went to the mound to take him out of Wednesday's game in Houston. [Chicago Sun-Times]

GROUNDSKEEPER OK -- We all saw the YouTube video of the groundskeeper at Kauffman Stadium get run over last week. Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan caught up with Trevor Hogan, who said he wouldn't recommend getting caught under a rolling tarp, but he's fine.

MASCOT INJURY -- In Japan, Carrrasco, the mascot for the Rakuten Eagles injured his leg during a game and had to be rushed to the hospital where he needed surgery. He could miss the entire season. [Yakyu Baka]

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Posted on: January 18, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 4:41 pm

Arbitration deals: Fielder gets $15.5 million

The deadline for submitting arbitration figures is less than an hour away at this writing, and compromise deals for arb-eligible players are rolling in fast and furious. We won't list all of them here (here is a good resource for a comprehensive look), but here is a look at some of the notable deals (links lead to sources):

* Prince Fielder, who seemed certain to reach a hearing, made a last-minute deal with the Brewers for $15.5 million. He made $10.5 million last season. As noted by Tom Haudricort of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the deal ends Zack Greinke's short reign as highest-paid Brewer ever. Greinke, traded to the Brewers last month, is due $13.5 million next season.

* Stephen Drew has re-upped with the Diamondbacks on a two-year deal, per Jon-Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He'll earn $13.75 million over the two years, with a mutual option for 2013. Drew was slated to become a free agent after 2012, so this deal may only buy out one year of free agency.

* A hefty price just came down on closer Matt Capps, agreeing to a $7.15 million deal with the Twins as MLB.com reports. This is one deal that is tough to see, although he did save 42 games with an ERA under 3.00 in 2010.

* Postseason hero Cody Ross has received a contract worth $6.3 million from the Giants, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

* Jane Lee of MLB.com has two Athletics agreeing to deals: Dallas Braden signing for $3.35 million and outfielder Conor Jackson for $3.32. Braden is coming off a season in which he tossed a perfect game, while Jackson is hoping to revitalize his career after a lost 2010.

* Brandon Morrow, one of the Jays' young fireballing starters, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a deal that will pay him $2.3 million as Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reveals.

* Jonathan Papelbon receives an incremental raise over 2010 and will take home $12 million in 2010, writes CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam. Jacoby Ellsbury, meanwhile, packs away $2.4 million.

* Lefty starter John Danks is a rich man after agreeing to a $6 million deal with the White Sox as SI.com's Jon Heyman says.

* The Yankees used some of the money left over from not signing Cliff Lee to ink starter Phil Hughes to a $2.7 million deal as Heyman reports.

* Some hefty money being paid in Texas. Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Nelson Cruz hauls in $3.65 million according to ESPN while C.J. Wilson gears up for free agency after the season with a $7 million payday.

* New Cub Matt Garza will earn $5.95 million on the north side of Chicago as Heyman writes. Sean Marshall, meanwhile, signs a two-year deal worth $4.7 million, ChicagoBreakingSports.com reports. Marshall is expected to move to the starting rotation and join up with Garza.

* Chad Billingsley will net $6.275 million from the Dodgers, reports Dylan Hernandes of the Los Angeles Times.

* J.J. Hardy will make $5.85 million in his first year with the Orioles, reports the Baltimore Sun.

* Jordan Bastian of MLB.com has Shin-Soo Choo receiving a $3.975 million deal from the Indians.

* As we reported earlier, Padres closer Heath Bell settled for $7.5 million.

* The Padres also got a deal done with outfielder Ryan Ludwick for $6.775 million. He made $5.45 million last season.

* Outfielder Rajai Davis gets a two-year deal from the Blue Jays, worth $2.5 million in 2011 and $2.75 million in 2012 with a $3 million club option in 2013.

* Closer David Aardsma is back in Seattle for $4.5 million, reports the Seattle Times.

* Astros infielder Clint Barmes settled for $3.925 million.

* The Athletics and outfielder Josh Willingham agreed to a $6 million deal in his last year of arbitration eligibility. That's a raise from $4.6 million.

-- David Andriesen and Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:14 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 4:48 pm

Denorfia signing likely cements Padres' outfield

Chris Denorfia The Padres have made one decision on their crowded outfield official, agreeing to a deal with Chris Denorfia, meaning they've unofficially made their decision on what their outfield will look like next season.

After acquiring Cameron Maybin from Florida last month, the team was left with four arbitration-eligible outfielders -- Denorfia, Ryan Ludwick, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston. The team has reportedly offered Ludwick arbitration and with Denorfia on board, it seems Gwynn and Hairston will be non-tendered before tomorrow night's deadline.

Denorfia has signed a one-year deal worth $800,000 for 2010, MLB.com's Corey Brock reports .

"That was one of the great things about getting the deal done now," Denorfia told Brock. "It took the uncertainty out of the winter for me. That's something I've never had. It was just really important to get this done as soon as possible."

Denorfia hit .271/.335/.433 with nine home runs and 36 RBI last season, stealing eight bases in 317 plate appearances. Denorfia will likely be the team's fourth outfielder.

That leaves a starting outfield with Ludwick in left, Maybin in center and Will Venable in right.

UPDATE: According to the North County Times , the team has indeed non-tendered Gwynn.

"I kind of had the feeling it could happen, especially after the trade," Gwynn told the paper. "But that's the business of the game. It was just bad timing as far as I had my best defensive season and my worst offensive season. It was bad timing not to hit."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 7:04 pm

Padres will offer Ludwick arbitration

Ryan Ludwick The Padres will offer arbitration to outfielder Ryan Ludwick, FanHouse's Jeff Fletcher tweets .

Ludwick is one of four arbitration-eligible outfielders for the Padres, along with Scott Hairston, Chris Denorfia and Tony Gwynn Jr.

San Diego recently acquired Cameron Maybin from the Marlins and are expected to non-tender two of the remaining trio of Hairston, Denorfia and Gwynn.

Ludwick was a disappointment when acquired from the Cardinals in a trade, hitting .211/.301/.330 with six home runs in 59 games for San Diego. He hit .281/.343/.484 with 11 home runs in 77 games with the Cardinals.

His career totals are closer to his Cardinal numbers than Padres numbers, hitting .266/.337/.476 in his career. Ludwick made $5.45 million last season and is a free agent after 2011.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 14, 2010 2:43 pm

Padres must cull outfielders

Tony Gwynn Jr. With Cameron Maybin coming to San Diego, the Padres now have too many outfielders and not enough spots.

Ryan Ludwick, Tony Gwynn Jr. (pictured), Chris Denorfia and Scott Hairston are all arbitration eligible and at least two of those four will be non-tendered by the Padres, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes .

The Padres have said they'd like to keep Ludwick around. San Diego traded for Ludwick at the trade deadline, but he struggled in San Diego. After hitting .281/.343/.484 with 11 home runs in 312 plate appearances for the Cardinals, then hit .211/.301/.330 with six home runs in 239 plate appearances. He made $5.45 million last season and 2011 will be his final year of arbitration.

Gwynn, of course, is the son of Padres legend Tony Gwynn. He also came to San Diego via trade, from the Brewers before the 2009 season. Gwynn is arbitration-eligible for the first time and is coming off a season where he hit just .204/.304/.287 with three home runs and 17 stolen bases. All of his stats were down from 2009, when he hit .270/.350/.344.

Denorfia was in his first season with the Padres and hit .271/.335/.433 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 317 plate appearances and played all three outfield spots. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time this season, as well.

The Padres traded Hairston to Oakland in 2009, only to bring him back to San Diego before the 2010 season. Hairston hit .210/.295/.346 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 336 plate appearances. He will be a free agent after 2011.

When you look at the Padres outfielders that way, it makes more sense why they'd want Maybin, who has been a disappointment thus far, but still should be able to look good relative to most of those other statistics. Bud Black deserves more than the National League Manager of the Year Award for nearly leading that team to the playoffs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 10, 2010 12:35 pm

Cards: No regrets on trading Ludwick

Ryan Ludwick
Despite the Cardinals' offensive struggles since trading outfielder Ryan Ludwick, manager Tony La Russa maintains that the team had little choice but to sacrifice to acquire a starting pitcher.

The July 31 three-team trade, which sent Ludwick to San Diego and brought Jake Westbrook to St. Louis, left a hole in a lineup that already had problems. A serious ankle injury later suffered by third baseman David Freese only compounded the effects of Ludwick's loss. Prior to Thursday's 11-run outburst, the Cardinals had scored just 23 runs in their previous 10 games.

La Russa said the plan had been to replace Ludwick with another bat, but no trade ever materialized.

"The best answer was to bring in a legitimate starting pitcher, keep Ludwick, trade somebody young," La Russa told reporters Thursday. "Or bring the pitcher in, use Ludwick, and get somebody else to replace him, which is what we tried to do. But if it came down to one or the other and if you could play the rest of the year with Ludwick and without the starting pitcher, we didn't think that gave us the best chance to win."

Westbrook has been decent if not spectacular for the Cardinals, going 1-3 with a 3.89 ERA in six starts. He has given St. Louis needed innings, going at least six every time out.

It's cold comfort to the Cardinals, but Ludwick has been a bust for the Padres, putting up a miserable .225/.306/.364 line since the trade.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 1:05 pm

Westbrook appears headed to St. Louis

Indians right-hanader Jake Westbrook has been a scratched from his start today amid swirling rumors about a trade, possibly a three-team deal.

Reports have been flying and constantly changing all day, but now Tom Krasovic of Fanhouse.com and Buster Olney of ESPN.com both confirm that the deal is in place and has been approved by the union:

Iniitial reaction: The Cardinals overpaid for a rental, probably because they're so impressed with rookie Jon Jay's great start. Ludwick is arbitration-eligible and could make around $7 million next year (according to MLB.com), so perhaps St. Louis thinks it's trading that salary for a minimum in Jay. Or maybe the Cardinals were just that motivated to add a starter. Westbrook isn't a huge difference-maker -- he's making $11 million this season with a WAR of 0.9 -- but he's one of those "nice to have" guys.

We don't know details on the prospects the Padres gave up, but it looks like they made out in this deal. Ludwick is exactly the kind of offensive boost they sorely need.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Reports are saying the Padres are sending Double-A right-hander Corey Kluber to Cleveland and Class A lefty Nick Greenwood to St. Louis. The Cardinals' official release on the deal says the Indians are also sending cash to St. Louis.

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Posted on: July 24, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 4:49 pm

Ludwick return a boost for Cardinals

Ryan Ludwick The Cardinals are by all accounts working hard to add Roy Oswalt to their pitching staff, but they already added an All-Star outfielder Saturday.

Ryan Ludwick, out with a calf strain since June 26, was activated before the Cardinals' game against the Cubs in Chicago. He started in right field.

Offense has been a concern for St. Louis, which fired hitting coach Milt Thompson on Thursday night. Ludwick, an All-Star in 2008 when he hit .299 with 37 homers, was batting .273 this season when he was hurt.

The Cardinals have been piecing things together in right with Nick Stavinoha (now injured), Jon Jay and Randy Winn, and not faring too badly, but having a healthy Ludwick is a nice upgrade. Cardinals fans should be keeping their fingers crossed that Ludwick stays healthy -- calf strains are notoriously tough to shake and he already suffered one setback in rehab while running on a treadmill.

To make room for Ludwick on the active roster, the Cardinals sent down right-hander P.J. Walters.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com