After looking lost in July and August, Josh Reddick‘s bat has found its groove again.
It wasn’t that long ago when there was a question as to whether Josh Reddick could be relied on in the postseason. His defense has been strong, as per usual, but his bat had become anemic, which might have presented the Astros with a dilemma.
Reddick slashed .205/.267/.256 in July and .213/.268/.293 in August, failing to hit a home run in that stretch. But he’s reversed his fortunes in September, hitting .339/.373/.581 with four homers and 12 RBIs, tying his season high for RBIs in a calendar month.
His latest homer was a big one, a three-run shot coming in Saturday’s game that helped Justin Verlander earn his 21st win. He’s also posted a pair of five-hit games this month.
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Perhaps it’s been the presence of young phenom Kyle Tucker on the roster in September that’s pushed Reddick out of his slump. More likely, however, is that he’s simply a veteran hitter and was bound to heat up eventually.
This is nothing but good news for the Astros, who could use a productive Reddick in the lineup in October. Having his defense in right field without having to worry about his bat would be a load off AJ Hinch‘s mind. Plus, Reddick’s productive left-handed bat may be needed even more if Michael Brantley‘s slump stretches into the playoffs.
Historically, Reddick has hit well for the Astros in the Division Series. Hit hit .375 in 2017 and .400 in 2018. The ALCS and World Series have been different stories, however. He hit a combined .098 in the 2017 and 2018 ALCS, and .167 in the 2017 World Series.
Riding a hot streak into October would hopefully help Reddick contribute throughout the team’s postseason run, setting them up for a second championship in three years.
The September rebound is also good for Reddick’s potential trade value. Speculation abounds that the Astros will look to trade him this offseason to unload his $13 million salary and to open up an everyday role for Tucker.
That payroll space will be critical if the team intends on re-signing Gerrit Cole, adding to the bullpen, or addressing the catcher situation. The team wouldn’t fetch much of a return for Reddick at this point, but finding a taker for his full salary would be the goal.
Showing there’s still life in his bat is key if the Astros are to trade him this offseason. It might be difficult to part with a player who’s meant so much to the team the past three years, but it may be necessary to keep the team as competitive as possible. So enjoy the ride, Astros fans, and enjoy Reddick while we still have him.