The Los Angeles Dodgers were linked to multiple right fielders in the time leading up to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. That made for an interesting proposition as it’s the position Yasiel Puig has been entrenched at since his Major League debut in June 2013.
However, during the final weekend before the deadline, the Dodgers informed Puig they intended to trade or demote him. Unable to move their enigmatic right field and with Josh Reddick’s arrival, Puig was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Reddick isn’t the same caliber slugger as Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez, both of whom the Dodgers were linked to, but he was in the midst of a career season at the time of being traded.
Since joining the Dodgers, the 29-year-old Reddick has struggled mightily at the plate. Though, some of his empty at-bats are a result of bad luck in the form of hard-hit balls right at defenders.
Regardless, Reddick said he’s heard from fans at Dodger Stadium who wish to see him replaced by Puig, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
“Oh, yeah – I know it’s coming from every side. They made this trade and the numbers don’t show anything. At home, they were yelling at me about bringing (Yasiel) Puig back.”
Reddick was batting .296/.368/.449 with eight home runs, 28 RBIs, a .348 wOBA, 124 OPS+ and 121 wRC+ at the time of being traded. He was hitting .341/.408/.547 with all 20 of his extra-base hits (11 doubles, one triple, eight home runs) off right-handers.
In 15 games with the Dodgers, Reddick is batting a lowly .164/.227/.180 with one double. He’s spent the majority of his time hitting from the cleanup spot, going 10-for-61 since the trade. In response to sensing Reddick is pressing and frustrated, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has him out of the lineup Saturday.
Reddick’s struggles have coincided with Puig tearing the cover off the ball for Oklahoma City. Puig is hitting .421/.488/.763 with two doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs over 10 games in what’s his first experience at the Triple-A level.
Puig was recently visited by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who credited the 25-year-old for his success and said the two had a positive discussion.
Reddick is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season, while Puig is under team control for multiple years. However, Puig’s future with the Dodgers hardly appears to be on sold foundation.