That’d be referring to Josh Reddick and his out-of-control, MLB-leading (in the craziness category) facial hair , of course. Having gone 0-for-10 through his first three games, the A’s No. 3 hitter was conspicuously quiet at the plate on the heels of a strong 1.017 OPS spring.
If you guessed that he wasn’t going to stay quiet for long, though, you’d be absolutely correct.
Simply put , Reddick was the primary driving force in the A’s 8-2 rout over the Mariners on Thursday night, going 2-for-3 and driving in four runs.
It was the 26-year old slugger that set the tone early with a two-run shot off Brandon Maurer that put Oakland on top early. When the lead looked as though it might have been in doubt in the sixth inning with the M’s having made it 3-2, it was Reddick who pushed it further out of reach with a RBI-double, setting himself up to score another run on a back-breaking Yoenis Cespedes homer.
Just for good measure, he drove in another on a sacrifice fly late in the eighth, as though he hadn’t quite done enough.
It’s what the Athletics have come to expect, of course, after the facial hair enthusiast broke through with the team with a 4.5 fWAR, 32-homer season. While he’s unlikely going to be the type that’s going to hit for much average or get on base a whole lot (.305 OPS in 2012), his power/speed combination makes him a dynamic weapon to complete a regular 1-2 punch in the Oakland lineup alongside Cespedes, even in that crazy outfield platoon of theirs.
A 30-15 season is not out of the question here, and that’s not even mentioning what he brings defensively, which is a whole other story.
Yes, there’s a pretty good argument that the A’s lineup may be best served if Reddick was batting behind Cespedes lower in the order, but as long as the team is able to explode for runs as they did over their last two games, I’d imagine that they aren’t thinking too hard about that for now.