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On the offensive: the sixth spot (news and notes included)

February 29, 2008

let’s get through the news first before analyzing another spot in the lineup. so, the cardinals played their first grapefruit league game against the ny mets.

all is well in cardinal land today. my guy, Reyes, pitched great. only one word can describe my feelings about his pitching performance yesterday…..giggity!

I’m probably over doing it, but he did do pretty damn good especially since he was basically facing the mets main guys; their starting lineup. he pitched 3 innings walking none with one K. he did not let a run score and allowed to hits. actually, all of the pitchers were good since they actually shut out the mets.

the offense came from everywhere yesterday. kennedy, barden, Juan G., schumaker and LaRue all collected rbis. kennedy was hitting leadoff and he went 1 for 3. the cardinals win this one and shut the mets out, 7 to 0.

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Ryan Ludwick 

now, to the lineup analysis. today, I will try to breakdown the 6th spot in the cardinal lineup. I’m guessing whoever gets the most at bats as the rightfielder (if ankiel is the centerfielder) or as the centerfielder (if ankiel plays right) hits here.

the man I’m thinking will get the bulk of the at bats playing right field is ryan ludwick. yes, I said it…what did you think I was going to say, juan gonzalez?

ludwick destroyed minor league pitching while he was playing in memphis, so they brought him up to the big league team. at first, he seemed to scuffle but he just needed some time to transition. after he adjusted to his new environment and starting catching up to the pitches, he basically became an integral part of the ball club.

he finally was healthy last season and his role last year was a 5th outfielder and righthanded bat off of the bench. he was a very good pinch hitter last season. his statline from last season was: 120 G/ 303 AB/ 14 HR/ 52 RBI/ 72 SO/ 26 BB/.339 OBP/ .267 AVG. that’s a pretty good line right there. he seized the opportunity that was given to him by tlr and he performed under pressure.

so, he will probably get an enhanced role this season. he will probably be part of a platoon in right field if in fact ankiel is playing center. I’m thinking he will get 100 to 150 more at bats; so, that going up from 303 to 400-450. that sounds about right to me. its hard to project his stats because it depends on how many times he starts. last season, he appeared in 120 games including pinch hitting opportunities and defensive substitutions.

I think he will appear in the about the same number of games except he will start in many of them instead of fill in and therefore will get more at bats. let’s predict his line for 2008: 125 G/ 425 AB/ 21 HR/ 73 RBI/101 SO/ 42 BB/ .356 OBP/ .273 AVG. if you compare his 2007 statline and my projection for 2008, I think that ryan will be more selective as a hitter, but still strike out a lot. also, he is going to learn to take an additional walk or two. those numbers would be decent for a contributing player. basically, his stats should be comparable to juan encarnacion and what he regualarly put up. a decent average, 20 or so homers and 80 or so rbis.

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