Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick was scratched from yesterday’s lineup with a right oblique strain and the injury could keep him sidelined for the start of the season.
Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com reports that Reddick will be shut down from baseball activities for the next two weeks. That doesn’t give him much time to get ready for the season and Athletics manager Bob Melvin acknowledged this morning that he might not be ready for Opening Day.
Interestingly, Melvin told Jane Lee of MLB.com that Ike Davis could get some playing time in right field with Reddick sidelined. Davis was acquired from the Pirates in November and currently projects to be Oakland’s primary first baseman against right-handers. The 27-year-old made two appearances in right field in Double-A back in 2009, but otherwise he has exclusively played first base in pro ball.
Reddick, 28, batted .264/.316/.446 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI across 109 games last season.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.