Josh Reddick Ready to Help the Arizona Diamondbacks “Win Ballgames”
Thursday night in Dodger Stadium, the Arizona Diamondbacks will have a new right fielder. He is a Gold Glover and World Series champion — Josh Reddick. Earlier Thursday, the Diamondbacks called him up from the Triple-A Reno Aces, where he hit .304 in 11 games. He will play right field and bat fifth Thursday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was a slow offseason for Reddick as far as teams calling. This came despite being a 12-year veteran who played for the Boston Red Sox (2009-11), Oakland Athletics (2012-16), Dodgers (2016), and Houston Astros (2017-20). The Diamondbacks reached out to him to fill a need in right field, something that meant a lot to Reddick. As a result, on April 12, Reddick signed a minor-league deal. He was eager to get back on track in the minors so he could get to the majors as soon as possible and help the club start winning.
Reddick didn’t feel upset about having to go back to the minors first if it was what he had to do to get back to the big leagues. “I was put on this earth to play baseball, and that’s what I’m determined to do,” Reddick said, regardless of what level it is. He wants to play long enough for his 19-month-old twin boys to be able to go to the park and watch him play.
Connections between Diamondbacks and Josh Reddick
Reddick began his career with the Red Sox organization. They drafted him in 2006. When he played for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox in 2010, their manager was current Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. Reddick said they didn’t get to know each other super well while he was in Pawtucket, but when he arrived at Dodger Stadium Thursday afternoon, they picked up where they left off.
Another member of the Diamondbacks organization Reddick knew in Boston was Mike Hazen, the current general manager. They “butted heads a little bit.” However, Reddick said that was mostly from “my own immaturity.” The main conflict, according to Reddick, was his own eagerness to swing at just about anything. “I thought I could hit anything you threw up there,” Reddick recalled. “If you threw the rosin bag, (I believed) I had a good chance of hitting it for a double in the gap.” Hazen wanted Reddick to take pitches more often and develop patience at the plate, something Reddick is now grateful for. He said that despite “bumping heads,” they had “a great relationship.” Reddick “can’t wait to see Mike again. It’s been too long.”
Joining a New Team
It was unusual for Josh Reddick to have to “scrounge around to get a job,” in the words of Barry M. Bloom, given Reddick’s age and experience. It made Reddick a little angry, but he also has accepted the reality of the situation. “I needed to take a step back and humble myself to realize this is how things work right now. It’s out of my control, so the best thing I can do is put it behind me and keep pushing forward.”
Reddick hasn’t had much of a chance to get to know guys on the team. However, he knows catcher Stephen Vogt very well, dating back to their days in Oakland. They were close then and have kept in touch ever since. He knows Madison Bumgarner — a former San Francisco Giant — competitively from facing him during the Oakland days. They do not know one another personally yet, though. Since they’re both “backwoods Southern guys,” as Reddick put it — Reddick hails from East Georgia, while Bumgarner is from North Carolina — Reddick feels like they’ll get along very well.
Reddick, having joined the club hours before this writing, is still getting to know everyone. “That’s the toughest part about getting to a new team — learning names, learning whom to talk to and what to talk to them about.” He enjoys meeting new people. Consequently, he is “excited to get to know a lot of these guys.” But above all, he is “really excited about this opportunity to help these boys win.”
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