Dodgers News: Josh Reddick’s Recent Surge Coincides With Comfort In New Environment
David Zalubowski-AP Photo

Needing to upgrade their starting rotation and looking to improve their lineup, the Los Angeles Dodgers killed two birds with one stone in their trade with the Oakland Athletics, acquiring Rich Hill and Josh Reddick.

Reddick, a 2012 Gold Glove Award winner, came with a strong, but not stellar, defensive reputation, and a productive bat. Up until the Aug. 1 trade, the 29-year-old was batting .296/.368/.449 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 68 games.

However, the Dodgers received nothing close to that production in the time after the trade. Reddick’s slump can be attributed to the pressure that came with joining the Dodgers and adjusting to a new clubhouse and teammates.

His frustration began to bubble over, which prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to give Reddick a game off. But that now appears to be a thing of the past.

Just as he hoped would be the case after collecting his first RBI with the Dodgers on Aug. 31 to continue a comeback charge, Reddick has seemingly turned the corner.

“I think it’s one of those things where he’s starting to finally get comfortable, even his batting practices are better. A change in environment, he may not admit to it, but there was a little pressing going on,” Roberts said after Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Now he’s starting to simplify and putting that barrel to the baseball. When he’s hitting that pull-side gap like he’s doing, then I know the swing is right. He’s running counts like his career says he does. Josh throughout his career takes balls and swings at strikes. He’s a plus defender, and to have him in the lineup adds to that length.”

In his last six games (five starts), Reddick is batting .500/.524/.700, and owns a six-game hitting streak; with three multi-hit games. While Reddick slumped his way with the Dodgers, fans at Dodger Stadium voiced their displeasure and showered him with calls for Yasiel Puig’s return.

Reddick’s surge has played a role in the Dodgers climbing to the top of multiple offensive categories amongst National League contenders. Since Reddick’s bat picked up heading into September, the Dodgers are first in batting average (.315), third in hits (53) and third in home runs (11).

“I always said I was going to come out of it. It was just about sticking with your routine, getting pitches to hit and finding holes,” he stated Tuesday.

“These guys did a great job of welcoming me in, but I still felt out of place. I’m still trying to learn a lot of new guys. I’ll keep working on it and hopefully grow a lot more comfortable as the days go by.”