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More at-bats necessary before Ludwick returns

More at-bats necessary before Ludwick returns

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More at-bats necessary before Ludwick returns

SAN DIEGO -- Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick wasn't able to play on Tuesday because his rehab assignment game with Triple-A Louisville was rained out. Ludwick played his second game in left field on Monday and was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

In five games with Louisville and Class A Dayton, Ludwick is 2-for-12. Don't expect Ludwick to be activated when the Reds open a three-game series at home vs. the Cardinals on Friday. It's out of the question.

"Not when he's played five-six innings and is 2-for-12," manager Dusty Baker said. "There was no way I figured we'd have him for the Cardinals anyway. He said he needs 30 [at-bats]. I think he needs at least 50. He's not only operating from behind, he's operating from way behind. But he's worked his butt off to get to this point."

Ludwick has not played for the Reds since Opening Day, and he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Cincinnati has struggled from the right side of the plate at times this season and the offense has been in a major funk during a four-game losing streak entering Tuesday.

The club will still not rush Ludwick back to the lineup.

"We've got to have some guys to produce here. We can't wait on Ludwick," Baker said.

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.

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