To say that Oakland A’s right fielder Josh Reddick is off to a bad start this season would be an understatement. With a .098 AVG and a 33% strikeout percentage, he has the second lowest batting average in the major leagues. This is quite a surprise for A’s fans and critics after Reddick had such a great spring.
Reddick had a .333 batting average during spring training with 15 RBIs and 3 home runs. He also made some amazing defensive plays which included scaling a chain linked fence to rob the opposing team of a home run. However, since the start of the regular season, Reddick has struck out 15 times and has had 4 hits in 41 at-bats. Pitching coach Chili Davis thinks that Reddick is taking his eye off the ball by moving his head ever so slightly as he prepares to swing. Thus causing him to swing through the pitch.
But Reddick and manager Bob Melvin believe that Reddick will soon be out of this slump. Reddick told the press that April is usually his worst month and that he just needs to push through this rough patch even though it seems worse than usual. Melvin says that Reddick is starting to time his swing better and seems to be improving regardless of the poor stats. Despite the positive words from Melvin, he sat out Reddick from Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels due to the fact the Reddick struggles against left handed pitchers.
Some critics believe that it is because Reddick has faced a lot of pitchers who mainly throw fastballs and curveballs – pitches that Reddick has always struggled to hit. However, batters tend to see mostly fastball pitches and Reddick has somehow done better in the past. Others think that Reddick is just going through a bout of bad luck. Or perhaps it is even the shorter hair cut and beard trim that has thrown him off his game.
Reddick showed during the spring that he is healthy and can produce. He has just lost his mojo, and the lack of success has caused frustration. It has been suggested that he go down to Triple-A just to gain some confidence back, and that does not seem like a bad idea. Hopefully he can find his groove soon or else Reddick could find himself on the bench more often.