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Heisey gets opportunity as everyday player

CINCINNATI -- Once left fielder Ryan Ludwick went down with a right shoulder injury that could keep him out until the All-Star break, the Reds didn't hesitate to call on fourth outfielder Chris Heisey to replace him.

Manager Dusty Baker made it clear it was Heisey's time to show that he could be a regular player.

"I hope he doesn't put too much pressure on himself," Baker said on Wednesday. "This is an opportunity to get extended play. I'm making it as easier on him as I can by batting him [second] in front of Joey Votto. Now it's up to him. All I can do is give guys opportunity.

"It's how he handles playing every day -- that's where the strong stand out. I'm pulling for Heisey."

Heisey has been a role player since his first big league callup in 2010, which came as a result of Chris Dickerson going on the disabled list. Last season, he made 36 of his 80 starts in left field, while batting .265 in 120 games overall, with seven home runs and 31 RBIs.

"I'm here to do my job, and today's being in left field, starting," Heisey said. "That's what I'm going to do. I'm sad for Ryan. He's a good friend of mine and a teammate. Hopefully he gets back sooner than they expect."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon
Read More: Cincinnati Reds, Shin-Soo Choo, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Heisey, Brandon Phillips, Derrick Robinson