No, you shouldn’t give up on Josh Reddick

PIRATES VS DODGERS

Dodgers at Reds, 9:35 a.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Andrew Toles, RF
Rob Segedin, 3B
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

Josh Reddick was a late scratch from today’s early game at Cincinnati, and the reason instantly came across like a taunt to his detractors — a jammed right middle finger.

Reddick is available off the bench, according to Dave Roberts, though it could be until at least Wednesday when he starts next, considering that lefty ace Madison Bumgarner is starting Tuesday for the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

But in the meantime, it’s another setback in what has been anything but a storybook chapter in Los Angeles for Reddick. Three weeks into his Dodger career, Reddick has one extra-base hit and a .211 on-base percentage. Combined with the absence of fellow former Oaklander Rich Hill from the starting rotation, judgment has rained down on the trade that sent Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas to the A’s for the pair.

It’s reasonable to expect more immediate impact from a trade specifically designed to boost the Dodgers’ pennant chances, particularly when the two players are free agents at the end of the year, than the Dodgers have gotten. But consider these counterpoints:

  • The trade isn’t over after three weeks. No, really: It’s not. This isn’t me being Pollyanna. There are still six weeks of baseball left in the regular season, plus whatever’s to come in October. There is more than enough time for both Reddick and Hill to become big contributors.
  • If you gave up on a player after three unproductive weeks, there is maybe one starter on the first-place Dodgers that would have survived the cut, and even Corey Seager had a sub-.600 OPS on April 21. Every other Dodger position player has had a prolonged slump.
  • Reddick has been an above-average hitter since 2011 and had an .816 OPS this season when he arrived in Los Angeles. Why that wouldn’t count when evaluating his potential for the remainder of the season, I can’t imagine.
  • The fact that Reddick has made solid contact during his three weeks as a Dodger is of limited comfort when the demand for results is immediate, especially when nothing’s gone out of the park, but it’s nevertheless another sign that, like Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal et al, the results are likely to come.
  • With Hill, there’s no Dodger track record to discuss, but just give the pitcher with a 2.25 ERA a chance to get some starts in, and there’s every possibility his value will soon speak for itself.

Without a doubt, some of the distress and anger over Reddick is tied into the demotion of Yasiel Puig, who is hitting .419/.479/.721 with Oklahoma City. How relevant that is, I can’t say, given that there’s no doubt that Reddick could rake in the Pacific Coast League, and I don’t think anyone should be surprised that Puig can dominate Triple-A pitching.

At any rate, whether you like it or not, there’s been sufficient documentation that Puig’s trip to the minors was about more than statistics, and I say that as someone who has always been in Puig’s corner.

Josh Reddick is more than a .152 hitter. Rich Hill is more than another statistic on the disabled list. Don’t be close-minded. While it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day successes and struggles of individual players, especially when the National League West lead is changing hands almost on a daily basis, we are not down to the wire. There is a quarter of the season left, and a long game still to be played.

The reason the Dodgers acquired Reddick and Hill is because they believe in them, and unless much more evidence comes in against them, they’re right to do so.

6 Comments

My only issue has been Doc’s constant insistence (albeit he finally dropped him this weekend) of batting him clean up. Even when/if Reddick was/will hitt(ing), he’s not better for that role than AGon.
I still think sending Puig down was a mistake, if only they have to trade him now, and no matter what he shows in AAA it won;t up his value there, it’s beyond repair, at this point I can;t see them getting much but salary relieve for him.

How is Reddick on defense? That’s just as important, IMO, as offense.

Can we scratch him every game from now to the spring and see if maybe he can bring a Triple A starter in a trade?

A .152 batter hitting cleanup since acquired, with one of his hits ( maybe more-they show very few Dodger games on the East Coast except the home and home recently against the Philies) is not what one expects from the Nr 4 hitter-except maybe in Little League

So far it has to be the bust trade of the year, maybe the decade. What a disappointment but it did not look that great when initially done. Will he also come up with an “injury” to explain the poor production?

His injury is totally punk rock.

Yes, there is still time for the Dodgers to get something from this trade, but the frustration is based on the fact that 3 young controllable arms (including one in Montas that I thought had a good chance at being the future closer, something the Dodgers will need if they don’t meet the asking price for Jansen) were traded for 2 pending free-agents, and so the window for the Dodgers to get value is really small whereas the window for the A’s is really big. Three weeks in and there has been no value at all from Hill and negative value from Reddick.

If you mortgage part of your future (even if it is from an area of strength like the Dodgers had with prospect arms) to compete in the present you have to have it pay off quickly. Could Hill be the winning pitcher in game 7 of the World Series? Could Reddick be the World Series MVP? Sure, both of those things could still happen. But until there is even the slightest bit of value provided by either of them, this will continue to be an awful trade, and the opportunity for value on the Dodgers only lessens with each passing day.

I’m willing to wait and see what is to come from Reddick and Hill, so long as, in the meantime, the Dodgers are successful.

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