GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Through 12 games this spring, new Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick has a .222 batting average. That is of little consequence to Ludwick, however. "If you start getting caught up in results the first couple of weeks of Spring Training, you throw yourself into a whirlwind," Ludwick said on Monday before he went 0-for-1 off the bench against the White Sox. The Reds signed Ludwick to a one-year, $2.5 million contract in January to share left field with Chris Heisey. Neither hitter has tore it up this spring, but Ludwick believes he is on track to where he needs to be with two weeks left in camp.
"I felt like when I got to camp, I was really good early. Then games started, I searched for my timing," Ludwick said. "I got off to a slow start. I am mixing in a hit here and there pretty much every game the last five or six games. But I don't feel locked in by any means. I'm still kind of searching for that rhythm and timing. But I think for where we're at in Spring Training right now, I feel like I'm in a good spot."
Ludwick feels that Spring Training performances have been a shaky barometer for how he might do during a regular season. "I've had Spring Trainings where I've stunk with St. Louis and then I started hot," he said. "I've had Spring Trainings where I couldn't get out and started the season 1-for-15. I've had Spring Trainings where I was hot and started the season hot. And I've had Spring Trainings where I was cold and started the season cold. At the end of the year over the course of 400-500 at-bats, except for last year, my numbers are going to be where they always are. "You can't evaluate yourself too much until you get 40-50 at-bats at Spring Training. Working with Mark McGwire [on the Cardinals], he said you try to get your rhythm or timing the first 20-30 at-bats. Then you see the ball and at 40-50, everything should come together."