RN Radio

#107: Can we all just get along (with BP and Ludwick)?

Are you looking for a mildly-entertaining podcast? You’ve found it! In the latest episode of RNR, Joel Luckhaupt and I talk about a number of items facing the Reds as they prepare for 2014, including some recent quotes that indicate a certain level of unhappiness on the part of Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick. Enjoy!

You can listen with the player at the bottom of this post or right-click here to download the mp3 file to listen at your leisure. For links to all previous episodes of Redleg Nation Radio, check out the podcast’s home page.

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17 thoughts on “#107: Can we all just get along (with BP and Ludwick)?

  1. Sorry, I haven’t been able to listen to all the podcast yet.

    If references to BP were pertaining to his recent interview with MLB, as far as I am concerned, sorry, I don’t care to hear about BP that much anymore.
    - He said he just learned baseball was a business? Sorry, too much evidence shows otherwise.
    - He would expect a club to extend a good 2nd baseman on the back half of his career over a young and perennial MVP candidate (the only difference being only one season)? That’s ridiculous.
    - He did it all with one hand? I thought Baker didn’t allow his players to play hurt? So, his hand must not have been hurting that much. If it was, alright, then what are the excuses for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, when many of the numbers were exactly the same?
    - His complaining about the reporters talking about his numbers are down? Well, they are. If he doesn’t like it, then he needs to do something about it, like improve them.

    BP is sounding just like what he was complaining about the Cards being, whiners.

    As for Ludwick, if it was in reference to his comments last fall towards the fans, I can understand where he was coming from, but that comes from the style of play Baker had them playing. Many people called it playing with a sense of urgency. I just call it hustle, making things happen, etc. Like running from 1st to 3rd so much in 2010, that wasn’t urgency; that was just pure hustle, making things happen, etc. With Baker, no, don’t let the fastest man in baseball try to steal a base, making the game exciting. Let’s bunt him over to 2nd, a pretty much boring play as well as pretty much a waste of an out. Exciting play is what gets fans excited. Not the same boring BS. That’s one reason why many people like Freel, Heisey, and BP’s style of play, they would try to get something going, hustle, etc. Ludwick didn’t need to aim his comments towards the fans. He needed to aim them toward Baker.

  2. To be fair, BP’s power numbers really just fell off pretty hard after he got hit on the wrist.

    .296/.347/.481 at June 1st
    .261/.310/.396 at season’s end

    That said, he hit the heck out of the ball when there was people on base last year. I think the issue is more the other at bats where he hit like .233.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=0&season=2013&month=29&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=22,d

    I’m kind of hoping the griping leads to BP having some fire and putting up a good season. I think it possible he bounces back.

    • I’m kind of hoping the griping leads to BP having some fire and putting up a good season. I think it possible he bounces back.

      I agree with this.

  3. The podcast (good job, btw)pointed out quite correctly that BP’s numbers shouldn’t be compared using last season to the year before, since most likely the season before was a career year/outlier, and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the wrist injury. Looking at his numbers for the 3 previous years, we still see a decline, but not a cliff dive. Perhaps with being healthy we can expect a return to those numbers. With his defense, I will take it. Second base is far from the top of my list in offensive, or defensive, worries.

    • Oh, and the proper term is “Cardinal stink”, or “stench”; not “Cardinal stain”.

      Cardinal stench. Definitely.

  4. Phillips may just have figured out that baseball is a business and he’s not talking to the media, but I think he’ll have a ‘I’ll show them’ season this year.

  5. After this podcast I am more optimistic and thoroughly gruntled. Now I must go shut people up for Chad.

  6. I think Joel hit the nail on the head when he said that Ludwick does not have enough cred with the Reds fans to throw out criticism. I would be feeling better if the team had done something about that massive hole in Left Field.

  7. Agree with Chad that a healthy Sean Marshall is a keystone for a very effective bullpen. I miss his curve. So, uh, get that shoulder ready and remind us all how awesome you are, Mr. Marshall. Can’t wait to see what a healthy Marshall and a manager that doesn’t hate him can do.

    • @Matt WI: @Matt WI: Marshall hasn’t pitched in 1 game this spring. After missing a large portion of last season, ho is it that 5 months later he comes to spring training and is not ready to pitch yet? I wouldn’t count on him being a reliable bullpen resource.
      Nick Masset anyone??

  8. Phillips probably should have figured out that baseball was a business, as the Reds over the years have wired $48 million into his account. When somebody puts $48 million in my account, I know that it is business and not hopscotch.

    I’m not buying any argument that the chip on BP’s shoulder will drive him to have a good season. If he can hit, he will hit; if his ability is only what he did last year, then that is pretty much what we can expect. Attitude has nothing to do with it. It is like clutch hitting; it isn’t really possible for a guy to bear down in clutch situations and do better then his normal ability.

    Phillips is a $48 million crybaby.

    As for Ludwick, Chris Heisey is better at all aspects of baseball than is Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick will play solely because he is paid more.

  9. “As for Ludwick, Chris Heisey is better at all aspects of baseball than is Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick will play solely because he is paid more.”

    I’m afraid you are correct on all counts….and if Chris Heisey is the best we can do, that sucking sound we will hear all summer will be coming from a corner of the outfield.

  10. Hamilton walks on 5 pitches, BP pops up on the first pitch. I know its spring training but I still get frustrated at that kind of thing.

    • @HOF-13: Not only spring training but still early in spring training. The guys, especially veterans, are just getting work in. I have no problem with BP going after the first pitch there if he saw something he can hit. Votto also swung at the first offering. I’d worry more about situational hitting towards the end of spring training and during the regular season.

  11. We have almost reached the halfway point in spring training. The early results are mixed. The starters are stretched out to 4 innings and Chapman pitched 3 innings today after pitching 2 innings in his last appearance. The two big lineup questions are starting to shake out.

    Hamilton looks like he intends to stick in the show this season. He is facing the regular season starting pitchers from the opposing teams and he is more than holding his own, slashing .318/.444/.409 in 27 PA, the most on the team. Bryan will pencil Billy into the leadoff spot and ride him for all he’s worth once the season starts. That’s the good answer to one of the serious questions.

    Then there’s the bad answer to the other serious question. Ludwick had an entire off season to build his stamina and strength after his serious shoulder injury. He is an habitual slow starter. Even in his stellar 2012 season, Ludwick slashed just .203/.281/.428 through the first 43 games after slashing .283/.316/.453 that spring. This spring, Ludwick is slashing just .150/.150/.300 and has looked every bit that bad with 5 SO & 0 BB in 20 PA. I don’t think the Reds can afford to wait for Ludwick to come around, since he may not come around at all this season after being 2 years older and a serious shoulder injury removed from his 2012 season. Bryan has to start considering his options for LF going into the season and unless WJ pulls the trigger on a significant aquisition to play LF, the best option to start the season might be a Heisey/Schumaker platoon in LF, especially since Hamilton has shown some realistic capability of handling CF and leadoff. The Schumaker signing this off season is looking better and better.

    Right now, I don’t see any way Bernadino doesn’t make the 25 man roster on opening day, except that he would require a 40 man roster move. Bernadino is slashing .500/.652/.875 in 23 PA. He can play every OF position and with Schumaker available as a utility IF option, the Reds could afford to carry another utility OF.

    That would leave just one utility IF role left to fill on the 25 man roster (assuming Hannahan starts the season on the DL). The only utility IF who has staked a real claim on a 25 man roster spot at this point is Soto, slashing .375/.375/.708 in 24 PA. Soto is also already on the 40 man roster. That would leave the Reds without a true backup SS on the 25 man roster, but possibly the strongest bench in several seasons.

    Of the non roster utility SS options in camp, no one has demonstrated much production at the plate:

    .200/.200/.400 Diaz
    .158/.273/.316 Negron
    .118/.250/.176 Santiago

    The other utility IF options (Navarro, Nelson & HenRod) have no better defense at SS than the emergency SS options (Hamilton, Frazier & maybe Schumaker or Phillips) on the 25 man roster. At least one and probably two of the true defensive utiilty SS options could be stashed at Louisville for a 24 hour emergency call up, rather than wasting a spot on the 25 man roster, in case Cozart goes down with an injury.

    • @Shchi Cossack: Unfortunately, I see no way that Santiago won’t make the club. Walt seems to like him and he’s an actual backup SS. As you’ve pointed out, the Reds don’t have a true SS if Cozart goes down or needs a day off. Schumaker doesn’t play any IF position besides 2B and I just don’t see him at SS at all. His defense is iffy at 2B as it stands. Frazier hasn’t played SS in a long while and there are serious questions that he even could. You’d also be weakening 3B as Frazier is an above-average 3B and his replacement won’t be. Soto is probably going to be the odd man out unless we see a surprise with someone else not making it, like Hannahan.

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