Josh Reddick’s absence from the game due to his ailing right wrist hasn’t had any impact on his speed, as was evident by his first night playing for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats during a rehab assignment against Salt Lake.
“As much as I’ve seen the last two weeks, it’s been a real big improvement – no issues, no pain, no soreness. I’m feeling great,” Reddick said of his wrist. “I’m turning on baseballs that I didn’t really turn on after the wall injury.”
The wall injury came on April 7 in Houston, when Reddick chased after a ball down in foul territory not far behind first base, jamming his right wrist into an unpadded section of the short barrier separating the field and fans. He tried to play through the injury after missing three games, but hit just .162 in 80 plate appearances before hitting the shelf.
There’s an outside chance the Oakland A’s right fielder can return to action on Thursday when the team wraps up its four-game home-and-home set against the Giants in San Francisco. A Friday return might be more realistic.
“I know we’re shooting for Friday," Reddick said. "I know we said Thursday, but if I’m not comfortable at the plate, I’m not going to try it. The only thing we want to focus on right now is making sure the timing’s right and I’m not going to go out there pressing."
After going 1-for-3 on Monday with the High-A Stockton Ports, Reddick went 1-for-3 and scored three times for Sacramento on Tuesday. Those three runs scored included once from first on a double from Grant Green where the relay throw nearly beat him to the plate. There was no collision, although the play was likely closer than any member of the A’s brass would like.
Oakland’s right fielder also stole second base in seventh without a throw, timing the pitcher perfectly and getting a huge jump. He was driven in on Michael Taylor’s double to center.
Perhaps his choice of walk-up music added pep to his legs. Reddick tweeted before the night to the River Cats’ twitter account to not reveal his special selection. It turned out to be Miley Cyrus’ “Born in the USA.”
In his first at-bat, Reddick grounded into an unconventional 5-6-3 double play after his lumber splintered, leaving some Cyrus skeptics to believe he made the wrong decision. But he still played with a lot of energy.
“Three weeks off for me is a lot of time," Reddick said. "This was the first DL stint I’ve ever had in my career so obviously I’m not very comfortable with it."
Reddick hit second in the order on Tuesday and was the designated hitter. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk. His single came on a low off-speed pitch he dumped down the right field line off starter Matt Shoemaker in the third. He’s slated to get time in the outfield in Wednesday’s matinee and will be reevaluated from there.