For what it's worth, at the time of this writing Scout.com is reporting that Ryan Ludwick has received the call up from AAA. It's about frickin' time. With the current RF scenario of Spiezio, P-Dub and Schu hitting a collective .594 OPS in 169 plate appearances, something had to be done. In all likelihood Skip will the one sent down, barring some unforeseen but not completely undeserved release of P Dub. The 28 year old Ludwick is currently hitting .340/.380/.642 for Memphis, hopefully he can provide a much needed hot bat in a lineup of laggards. So who is Ryan Ludwick? Here's a brief synopsis of his baseball career-
His brother is Eric Ludwick, former Cardinal farmhand that was part of the trade that brought Mark McGwire to St. Louis. Once considered a top prospect, he was a 2nd round pick by the Oakland Athletics, Barry Zito was their pick before him. He spent three years in the Oakland system, posting around an .850 OPS between A and AAA before being shipped to the Rangers in part of a package that brought the A's Carlos Pena and Mike Venafro. He posted a .918 OPS for Texas's AAA affiliate and was promoted to the Show mid season, where he struggled in limited duty. He was flipped to the Indians for Shane Spencer and Ricardo Rodriguez. He battled slumps and injuries in 2004 and in 2005 he broke camp with the big league club, beating out (gasp) Grady Sizemore for the starting job out of spring training. He soon landed on the 60 day DL, and then ended up playing 2006 for the Tiger AAA affiliate, where he slugged 28 HR's, and put up a .266/.342/.506 line.
In 334 major league at bats, Ludwick has put up an OPS of .715. He has an .844 OPS in 2674 minor league at bats. His batting eye and plate discipline rate as average. His contact ability would rate below average. His power would rate as above average. His CHONE projected OPS is .723, his Marcel is .787 and his ZiPS .775. Sorry again to get all geekery on you all, I can't help myself. One thing he's doing less of is striking out this year, which has led to an increase in his batting average. Last year, Ludwick struck out 167 times in 508 at bats, that's about 32% of his AB's. This season so far, he's nearly cut his K rate in half. So from all this we can deduce that he probably ain't the savior, but thank God he's here anyhow. Any step in the direction of getting some fresh blood in here and addressing the issues is encouraging right now. Hopefully this rumor turns out to be true.
Just a quick self plug in case anyone's interested. I have a frame by frame shots (kinda) of minor league pitcher Eddie Degerman's delivery posted at Future Redbirds. I happened to be at the game, and was fortunate to see him pitch. Dude has a very nice curve ball, and the delivery as you will see is as funky as reported. He was having control issues and was in extended spring training, but now has those issues under control and he received a promotion. He's another arm that bears some watching as he moves up the ranks.Update [2007-5-6 9:23:10 by erik]: As seen in the comments below by neth2016, Preston Wilson will be placed on the DL by a phantom knee condition, and Dove or Jimenez (most likely Dove after yesterday's debacle) will be sent down. Replacing them on the roster will be Brian Falkenborg and Ryan Ludwick. This is per The Commish at the PD.