"It's sort of disheartening," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You hate to see a guy come off the field holding his arm like that. We've been doing so good the last couple of years without injuries. It's just a temporary setback."
During the bottom of the third inning, with Jay Bruce batting, Ludwick was on first base after taking a walk when pitcher Jered Weaver delivered a wild pitch. The runner on third base, Shin-Soo Choo -- who had doubled for his first Reds hit -- scored to make it a 1-1 game just ahead of catcher Chris Iannetta's throw to Weaver, who covered home plate. Ludwick alertly ran from first base to third base and slid headfirst.
That's where trouble happened. Ludwick's right arm got caught under his body.
"I was trying to be aggressive," Ludwick explained. "I saw Jered arguing at the plate. I saw an opening where I could get to third. I got there. The ground was a little wet, and when I slid headfirst, my hand hit the ground and it stopped. It just stayed there and my shoulder popped out a little bit. Not the best Opening Day I've had, but hopefully it will be good news tomorrow."
Chris Heisey pinch-ran for Ludwick and took over in left field for the top of the fourth inning. The solid fourth outfielder is a good bet to get more playing time as a result, but Ludwick's injury is still a big blow for the Reds offensively.
"It's one reason you discourage guys from going in headfirst," Baker said. "Only a few guys know how to do it. There are a lot of things that can happen badly to your hands, your elbows or your shoulders, as you see tonight."
Ludwick had his right arm in a sling after the game and said he was being treated with ice. He did not know how long he might be out.
"The good thing is when it went back in the socket, I got instant relief," Ludwick said.
After he hit 26 home runs with 80 RBIs in his first season with the Reds last year, Ludwick was re-signed to a two-year, $15 million contract in December. He batted only .220 with one homer in Spring Training but was coming on strong in the final days of camp.
"It's terrible," Ludwick said. "I don't think anyone wants to get hurt. It's funny, because I was really starting to feel good at the plate the last five games or so of spring. I was seeing the ball real good. I was seeing the ball real good today. I put together good at-bats. One aggressive play, it happened. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably do the same thing. It's just a freak accident. I couldn't help it."