A’s right fielder Josh Reddick clarified comments he made during a radio interview Thursday regarding his playing time against left-handed pitching, but re-emphasized his message – that he wants to play every day.
Reddick, talking with A’s broadcaster Ray Fosse during the team’s pregame radio show on 95.7 The Game, reportedly expressed frustration over his lack of playing time against left-handers and implied those decisions are being influenced by the A’s front office against the preference of manager Bob Melvin. Specifically, Reddick pointed to Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies, when he was not in the lineup against left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.
“The other day I was supposed to play against De La Rosa, and Bob texts me at around 1:30 and told me he had been ‘trumped,’ was the word he used,” Reddick said, according to CSNBayArea.com. “I understood right away. I know it’s not Bob. He’s fighting for me to be in there every night. It still frustrates me beyond belief when I don’t play … I just want to be in there, be able to compete and help my team win.”
Friday, Reddick said there had been a “miscommunication” between him and Melvin about why he was not in the lineup against De La Rosa. But he did not back down from the overall tone of his comments.
“I mean, bottom line, I want to be out there every day, despite who’s on the mound,” said Reddick. “That was the overall message and how it came out may not have been the way I really wanted it to come out. Just a miscommunication by me and Bob, and probably just assumed too much and looked into it too much. Who knows at this point how things are worked out, but I’ve talked to Bob and we’ve got it handled between the two of us, and just kind of leave it at that.”
Melvin took responsibility for the miscommunication, saying he at first had Reddick in the lineup against De La Rosa and then changed his mind.
“There’s a metric system that I look at that basically is an optimal lineup vs. the pitcher that we’re facing that particular night, and I hadn’t looked at it before (telling Reddick he was in the lineup),” Melvin said Friday. “It’s a useful tool for me, and I asked for it, and I hadn’t looked at it. So I changed my mind, I got back to him, and I didn’t really explain to him why, and therefore there was a little bit of a miscommunication. We had talked about it in the meantime, he knows that I make the lineup out, and we’ll leave it at that.”
Reddick’s radio comments had implied Melvin’s lineup decisions were being overruled by the A’s front office. Reddick on Friday said he hadn’t heard from anyone in the front office and didn’t expect to, but that if contacted he’ll be open to a conversation. Reddick said he has a good relationship with the front office and that, “This is just one of the speed-bumps we’ve had to deal with, and I’m sure we can get over it.”
Reddick said his main concern was that his comments would be seen as “throwing (Melvin) under the bus.”
“I never want to do that to Bob,” he said. “Bob’s been such a great guy, not only as a manager, but as a person to me, for the four years I’ve been here. And I don’t want to make anything come down on him more than it should.”
He added, however: “I just don’t see how everybody’s mad when I spoke what actually happens. It’s obviously happening, and just ’cause I speak it out doesn’t mean it’s something bad.”
Reddick is batting .330 this season against right-handers compared to .152 in 66 at-bats against left-handers. He started Thursday night against Mariners left-hander Roenis Elias and was in the lineup for Friday evening’s game against Seattle left-hander J.A. Happ.
▪ It appears the A’s will not place right-hander Sonny Gray on the disabled list while he returns to form after being hospitalized earlier this week with salmonella poisoning. Gray has joined the team for pregame workouts the past two days. However, Melvin said Gray will not pitch Sunday, when his next rotation turn comes around.
Melvin said it’s “92 percent” likely right-hander Chris Bassitt will start Sunday – but that Gray might not be far behind. If Gray were to start Tuesday, his next turn would come the following Sunday, making him ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game. Asked if the A’s take that into consideration, Melvin said: “I think you first have to look at the team and how we can get him pitching for us sooner than later.”
▪ The A’s lineup Friday against Happ:
And the Mariners’ lineup against A’s right-hander Jesse Chavez:
▪ Finally, Melvin said Coco Crisp, who is on the disabled list with a neck strain, is dealing with multiple kidney stones. Melvin said Crisp is at home in Palm Springs, where he has “been semi-bedridden here for a while.”