Reddick Out at Least Two Weeks
Right fielder Josh Reddick has dealt with injury problems each of the past two seasons, and now he is dealing with another injury that threatens to impact his 2015 season. Reddick injured his oblique during a fielding drill on Friday. The A's received word on Saturday that Reddick will be shutdown for at least two weeks. He is likely to miss the start of the season.
Losing Reddick for any period of time is a big blow for the A's. Oakland is already thin on established major league power hitters and Reddick was the A's best hitter the second half of last season. In 55 games after the All-Star break, Reddick had an 869 OPS with eight homers and a .533 SLG. He is also one of the best defensive corner outfielders in the American League.
The A's announced last week that Coco Crisp would be moving from center to left field. Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry were expected to platoon in center, but with Reddick on the shelf, Fuld and Gentry could get more starts in the same line-up. Rule 5 pick Mark Canha is a strong bet to make the A's roster now. Canha is off to a good start in spring training games and has shown the ability to handle the corner outfield spots defensively in early spring action. In addition, fellow right-handed hitter Nate Freiman is dealing with a strained back muscle that will keep him out at least two weeks, as well, making it less likely he lands on the Opening Day roster.
First baseman Ike Davis could see some time in right field this spring. He played in the outfield some in college. The A's could also explore a trade, although the available outfielders on the current trade market are likely out of the A's price range.
Camp Notes: Prospects Shining
A's prospects are off to a strong start through the first week of Cactus League play. The A's are 4-0 with a tie in their first five games this spring, and Oakland's prospects have played a big role in the team's early success.
Kendall Graveman and Chris Bassitt each tossed two scoreless innings in their A's spring debuts. Arnold Leon also had a scoreless inning in his 2015 spring debut. From the minor league free agent group, Matt Buschmann, Ryan Verdugo and Kevin Whelan each have two scoreless innings in two appearances, while Pat Venditte has thrown a scoreless 1.2 innings. A's minor league spring mini-camp participants Seth Frankoff, Tucker Healy, Bobby Wahl, Paul Smyth and Ryan Doolittle have combined to throw 5 scoreless innings.
A's position prospects are off to a good start, as well. Renato Nunez had the walk-off hit in the A's come-from-behind, 8-7 win over the Angels on Saturday. He drove home Tyler Ladendorf, who had tied the game with an RBI triple. Ladendorf has five hits and three RBI in 15 at-bats. Rule 5 pick Mark Canha has four hits in 12 at-bats, including a homer and a double. Outfielder Billy Burns has four hits in 10 at-bats. He has also stolen two bases, scored four runs and walked once. Newly claimed outfielder Alex Hassan - also a candidate to replace Josh Reddick while he is on the DL - is four-for-nine.
Max Muncy has played defensively at third base so far this spring. He has three hits and a walk in six at-bats. One of those hits was an opposite field double off of a lefty. Second baseman Joe Wendle also has three hits in six at-bats. He has walked twice. First baseman Rangel Ravelo has had just one at-bat thus far, but he made it count, doubling and driving in a run. Non-roster catchers Bryan Anderson (two-for-three) and Luke Carlin (three-for-six with two walks) are also off to good starts.