Slumping Reddick 'trying too hard'

Slumping Reddick 'trying too hard'

NEW YORK -- If Josh Reddick's pressing, he's not alone.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin talked about his right fielder's offensive struggles on Saturday morning, and he came to the conclusion that Reddick is trying too hard down the stretch. Reddick, who leads the A's with 29 home runs, batted just .145 (12-for-83) with six RBIs in his last 20 games.

"He's been so good for us all year offensively and defensively," said Melvin. "Now you get down to where you're semi-close to the season's end, and I think he's maybe trying to do a little bit too much. It certainly isn't for lack of confidence. He's trying too hard. Sometimes, you've got to step back."

Reddick has hit in the third spot of the batting order 133 times for the A's this season, but Melvin has experimented with dropping him lower in the order. The youngster struck out four times in Friday's series opener, and Melvin slotted him in the sixth spot Saturday for the fifth time this season. Reddick finished 0-for-7 with a strikeout and a couple of lineouts in Saturday's 14-inning loss.

Yoenis Cespedes hit his 20th homer Saturday, marking the first time Oakland has had two players with 20 home runs since 2007. Reddick, too, might well be pressing to reach 30 homers.

"Nine's a big number in this game, whether it's .299 or 29 [home runs]. Whether it's nine wins or 19 wins," said Melvin of milestone stats. "There's a lot to the big, round numbers and I think you can't help but know where you are as far as that goes. Sometimes, that's in there a little bit. But it's certainly not his focal point and what he's thinking about right now. He just wants to help his team win."