Reporting Dennis O’Donnell
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – It’s time for Hillbilly Jesus to come down from the mountain top and put a little bubblin’ crude into the A’s offense.
Oakland’s surprising 56-39 first place record overshadowed the offensive weaknesses in right field. They’re playoff-bound, but they need more from Josh Reddick who hit .218 with just 4 home runs and 32 RBI. Granted, his production suffered, in large part, because of a sprained right wrist which eventually landed him on the disabled list. The bigger concern for me is that Reddick’s slump is going on one year. He hit 32 home runs in a breakout campaign in 2012. But check out the numbers from pre All-Star break to post:
Josh Reddick 2012
Pre All-Star break: 20 HR, 43 RBI, .268 avg .348 OBP
Post All-Star break: 12 HR, 42 RBI, .215 avg .256 OBP
Reddick’s’ production, RBI aside, tailed off sharply in the second half of 2012. His slump has lasted about one year at the point and if the A’s expect to go deep into the post-season, Reddick has to step up.
In a spring training interview, Reddick told me he needed to figure out a way to better handle his failures at the plate. He got carried away with his frustration, throwing helmets, tossing bats and flat out admitted he was too hard on himself. He said he needed to take that negative energy and channel it in a positive direction. From what I can see, he’s done that.
Given his injury, it’s difficult to assess how healthy his wrist is. But the four home runs are a pretty good indicator that he’s not 100 percent. Or 90, or 80. Remember that wrist surgery was an option for Reddick. Instead, he took a cortisone shot in May and returned from the disabled list with positive results.
But Reddick is not Reddick and probably won’t be until next season. Quite frankly, the guy brings so many other tangibles to the table that I’ll take him at 75%. He still has glove, still has arm, still has leadership. Besides, nobody can dish out a slice of shaving cream pie quite like Hillbilly Jesus. God, I love that name.
See you on TV.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)