Today, the San Diego Padres sent disappointment OF Ryan Ludwick to the contending Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash. And today, ironically, the Padres scored runs without Ludwick as a member. So here is my question: was Ludwick a curse to the Padres?
Sure, he did help our offense in some ways, but his numbers were never near what we expected them to be, and his production was always missing in one way or another.
Plus, his arrival was succeeded by a horrendous losing streak that ended up killing the Padres' chances at postseason glory by one game. Now in 2011, after Ludwick promised better numbers for the upcoming year, the Padres find themselves hoping to finish in fourth place in the NL West.
Now, curses could be real, or a myth. However, most people agree that Ludwick was bad for the team. The fact that we gave up a prospect for his arrival is ridiculous.
Let's take a look at Ludwick's stats in the past five years:
Year Club Avg. HR RBI
2007: St. Louis .267 14 62
2008: St. Louis .299 37 113
2009: St. Louis .265 22 97
2010: St. Louis .281 11 43
2010 San Diego .211 6 26
2011 San Diego .238 11 64
Clearly, you see a drop-off in performance after his time with St. Louis. Is it Petco? Or is it age?
Ludwick's replacement, prospect Jesus Guzman, has looked clearly better than his predecessor. And the Padres actually are putting up runs in Ludwick's absence.
I feel this trade was the best under Jed Hoyer, because we now can make room for upcoming prospects, like Blanks and Guzman, and avoid strikeouts in every clutch moment.
Was Ludwick a curse? No, I feel the ballpark was not fit for him, but we shouldn't make excuses. Home runs and RBI were not the problem, his .238 average was. Nothing at Petco Park was holding him back from hitting the ball into the gaps of the outfield.
I wish Ryan the best in Pittsburgh.