Reddick raring to go, feeling no pain in repaired wrist
A's right fielder, who packed on 15 pounds, out to prove '13 season was anomaly
OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick began his offseason with a simple message from his employers.
"Get healthy. That was it," Reddick told radio station 95.7 The Game on Wednesday. "[Manager] Bob Melvin told me he wanted me to get healthy and come into Spring Training 100 percent, and I've done that."
Oakland's right fielder underwent surgery on his right wrist in October, six months after he initially injured it in Houston. In between, Reddick landed on the disabled list twice and struggled greatly at the plate while dealing with lingering effects that are no more.
"It's been fantastic," he said. "I got the surgery like I wanted, and everything's gone to plan. They said I was ahead of schedule with my grip strength and everything, so that was good to hear. It felt good to get back on the field and hit an inside fastball again. It felt good to not have any issues there, so I'm ready to get back to 100 percent.
"That's my strong point of my at-bats, those inside fastballs where I can turn on them. If I'm not able to do that, obviously the numbers are going to go down, the production's going to go down. A lot of people are doubting what kind of player Josh Reddick really is now, but I've got this mindset of proving a lot of people wrong and showing them who I am and that the 2012 form was more me than the 2013 form."
Reddick, 26, hit just .226 with a .307 on-base percentage and .379 slugging percentage in 114 games in 2013, compared to .242/.305/.463 in 156 games in 2012. His home run total also dropped from 32 to 12.
He noted that while the game's not easy, improving on those numbers should be. The rail-thin Reddick has even put on weight to help his case, weighing in at 195 pounds as opposed to his usual 180.
"It's just been tough over the years for a guy like me, because I've got a super-high metabolism," he explained on air. "So whatever I eat is usually out of the system in about an hour. Here in the last month, I've weighed in at 195, so that's something new for me. The fun part is going to be keeping that on, but once Spring Training starts, I get the body moving every day, I know I'll lose about six or seven pounds of it, but you just have to keep eating right and working out the way I know how in the gym.
"When I was rehabbing the wrist and not being able to work out, I focused on my legs, and that's one thing I learned when I was in Boston. Dustin Pedroia told me, 'When you go home, you focus on your leg workouts. Don't worry too much about upper body. Do it, but don't try to get all big muscle, big bicep kind of guy. Your legs are what's going to get you through a strong season.' That's what I've really focused on since I signed with Oakland."
While speaking to the A's radio affiliate, Reddick was making the drive from Effingham County, Ga., to Phoenix, for the start of his third season with the A's. Position players are scheduled to report to the team's Spring Training complex by Feb. 19, with the first full-squad workout planned for the following day.
Reddick has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Feb. 19, should he not come to terms on a 2014 salary before then. However, general manager Billy Beane said over the weekend, "These things always get done, so it's not a big concern for us."
Reddick's camp is asking for $3.25 million. The A's are offering $2 million.