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MLB Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics’ Josh Reddick Finding His Groove

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the DL stint in May did more good for Josh Reddick than rest his ailing wrist after all.

The Oakland Athletics outfielder had been struggling with the injury for weeks before he was finally shelved, and it was more than coming through in his numbers as he’d posted a miserable .152/.266/.250 triple-slash through his first 109 PA. Even if his wrist didn’t finally force him out, those numbers would have been enough reason for the team to consider giving him a breather.

Since he’s come back from his 22-game hiatus on May 31, however, things have been turning around — even if it isn’t a complete 180.

Including Sunday’s 1-for-3 performance in a losing effort against Hector Santiago and the Chicago White Sox, Reddick has now hit safely in seven of the nine games he’s played in. More promising is the fact that some of his 32-homer power from his breakout 2012 campaign may be returning as well, indicated by a pair of doubles and a homer in the 35-AB span.

A cool .281/.343/.406 slash through June thus far as brought his numbers a little closer to above Mendoza levels, but it’s really the last number that the A’s will want to pay attention to, given that wrist injuries tend to be ailments of the power-sapping type.

The biggest sign of a possible  resurgence, however, may be found in his plate discipline numbers. Now, Reddick has always been a bit of a hacker (21.4 percent career K rate), but after he’d struck out at 24.2 percent in April, the 26-year-old has completely turned it around since his return, only striking out four times in 35 PA including Sunday, good for a 11.4 percent rate.

Now, it’s not entirely likely that Reddick will be a .281 hitter through the rest of the year, but his normalizing line drive rate (11.9 percent in April, 24 percent in June heading into play on Sunday) suggest that better days are yet to come, especially in the BABIP department.

Yes, even with his latest run, the outfielder’s OPS still sits at a miserable .585, which should tell you how bad he was. However, there’s still plenty of time for Reddick to turn things around yet, especially if his approach has improved along with his health and power.