Originally Posted by Ron Delancey
I think Votto, Bruce, and Ludwick can become our RBI men...
Ludwick's a great guy, and obviously what he did last year (particularly while JV was out) was crucial, but I think projecting him as one of the main RBI guys going forward comes at a considerable risk.
Ryan is 35 and has had some significant injuries (shoulder, hip) which are the types of things that, even when healed, can make a player age faster than you'd expect (see--Rolen, Scott).
He's only once topped 150 games in a season, and his two seasons prior to last year were nothing to write home about.
That's not to say it can't happen, obviously last year shows it can. But if you look at his career as a whole, he's in his 11th season, and only three of those years look like he was putting up "cornerstone guy" type numbers. A team with Ryan Ludwick is a much stronger team if they're projecting him as one of those sort of "extra" bats--not a part time player, but the kind of guy who you say "Well, this is a solid lineup, and when Ludwick is producing down in the 6/7 hole, they just seem like a team that never stops coming at you."
He's also extremely streaky. Last year, he hit .333 and .327 in July and August, but hit .190, .224 and.253 each of the first three months. In 2011, he hit below .200 in three separate (and nonconcurrent) months. A player like that is great when he's hot, but when one of your main RBI guys is in a cold streak, it can pull down the entire team