Reddick returns from DL, A's beat White Sox 3-0
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)
Josh Reddick stood on top of a couch inside the Oakland Athletics clubhouse trying to swat a fly with a small racket while teammates stood and watched him instead of the television. The right fielder, wearing a sleeveless shirt with the word ''Reckless'' on the front, crouched down and zapped the insect with one swat.
''Timing's back,'' he quipped.
Clearly, so was Reddick - and all his antics, too.
Reddick returned from the disabled list and hit an RBI double in the eighth inning to back Bartolo Colon's five-hitter in Oakland's 3-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Reddick said his nagging right wrist is healthy again, and he's hoping to keep making just as much noise on the field as he often does off it.
After a breakout season that helped Oakland win the AL West last year, Reddick began the day batting .152 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 29 games. The A's had been resilient even without Reddick, winning 11 of the previous 13 games, including three of four over the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
''I just hope I don't screw anything up,'' Reddick said before the game.
He finished 1 for 3 while batting seventh, pulling a double down the right-field line off Dylan Axelrod for the first run of the game and the only one Colon needed.
''It felt great,'' he said afterward. ''These guys were playing great without me. It feels really good knowing they've been doing such a great job these last three weeks.''
Reddick hurt his wrist colliding with the wall in foul territory while chasing a pop fly on April 7 at Houston. He missed three games and received numbing treatments when he returned.
Once the treatments stopped, Reddick said his wrist started bothering him again. The A's, fearing Reddick might even need surgery, decided to put him on the disabled list while in Cleveland on May 8. Reddick said he received a cortisone injection, and he's hoping he won't need any more.
''For it to take only three weeks, it was a huge relief off my shoulders,'' he said.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said he'd love to see Reddick regain his 2012 form and reinsert the Gold Glove right fielder into the third spot in the lineup. Reddick hit a team-high 32 home runs and had 85 RBIs with a .242 batting average last season - he had a total of 10 home runs in the three previous seasons playing sparingly with Boston.
''Anytime you get him back and he's healthy and ready to go, it's a good thing,'' Melvin said.
Oakland's depth has proved pivotal this season.
The year started out with questions about how Melvin would spread playing time after general manager Billy Beane stacked the team with proven outfielders. Instead, all four primary outfielders - Yoenis Cespedes (strained left hand, April 13-27), Coco Crisp (strained left hamstring, April 30-May 14), Chris Young (strained left quadriceps, April 30-May 17) and Reddick - have been on the disabled list at some point.
''GM and the manager look like geniuses now,'' Reddick said.
Melvin had the same outfield against the White Sox that he put on the lineup card most of last season - Cespedes in left, Crisp in center and Reddick in right - and made Seth Smith the designated hitter instead of Young. The reigning AL Manager of the Year said playing time will sort itself out, and Reddick said his fellow outfielders aren't concerned, either.
More than anything, the bearded right fielder was just happy to be back wearing green and gold with the big club at the Oakland Coliseum. He spent one day on a rehab assignment at Class-A Stockton and three at Triple-A Sacramento, where he made a diving catch one day playing right field.
''In midair I was thinking, `What am I doing?' But I didn't feel anything when I landed,'' Reddick said.
In Stockton, he treated the young players to barbecue and gave away some bats. Reddick, who hadn't been at such a low level since playing for the Red Sox Class-A affiliate in Lancaster in 2008, said the experience reminded him how far he's come - and how hard he still has to work to remain in the majors.
''It takes you back a little bit,'' Reddick said. ''It makes you flash back a little bit when you were there, how you don't really have a whole lot to work with at that point, to see those young kids doing what they're doing.''
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP