Ludwick's early cold spell not a concern

Ludwick's early cold spell not a concern

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick is not off to a robust start at the plate this spring, batting .111 (4-for-36) in 14 games. His only home run came in an exhibition against Team Canada.

Manager Dusty Baker is not remotely worried about Ludwick, however.

"I think we put too much stock in Spring Training with veterans. He started slowly last year," Baker said.

Ludwick seized control of the regular left fielder's job by June of last season and went on to hit .275 with 26 home runs and 80 RBIs in 125 games. He was re-signed to a two-year, $15 million contract in December.

"Once you know these things, that he's a slow starter, you don't panic," Baker said. "I'm trying to figure out a way to get him started a little quicker. But I've always said it takes older guys longer. Plus, he's got a lot of moveable parts that you have to get in sync. His swing is not as simple as Joey [Votto's]. In order to get it timed, he needs reps. I'm not worried. Last year at this time, I didn't know. It's how you finish."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.