Health useful for Reddick's improved at-bats

Health useful for Reddick's improved at-bats

Health useful for Reddick's improved at-bats

PITTSBURGH -- There was more than one reason why Josh Reddick was promoted to the second spot of the lineup Tuesday, but his improved at-bats were, without question, part of the equation.

Manager Bob Melvin also wanted to provide his lineup a bit of flexibility come late-inning double-switch situations in a National League park.

Reddick entered the day having reached base safely via hit or walk in a career-high 16 straight games. In that time he batted .268, upping his season average to .222, with a .323 on-base percentage. His batting average sat at .189 a month ago.

"I'm getting more lucky I guess," Reddick said recently. "I'm not so much an unlucky hitter anymore. The hits are finding holes now, and when they're over the fence, they can't catch them."

Aside from luck, Reddick also has health on his side. That was not the case for parts of April and most of May, when he was dealing with a sprained right wrist. He did not hit the disabled list until May 8, ultimately returning May 31, but it was an issue well before then.

Since his return, he's batting .278 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 31 games. He hit .152 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 29 games before the injury.

"It was stupid of me to try to play through it, but that's the way I am, and I felt like I could play through it," Reddick said. "Trying to play through it a little too long, it was obviously affecting my swing. I couldn't pull the ball or hit it in general as I know I could. I'm glad we caught it early enough to where I can still help this team contribute. It would have been a little smarter to go right on the DL when it happened, and it'd be interesting to see where I was right now if I had, but we can't change that. All I can do is try to improve on the rest of the year.

"I'm hitting the ball hard a lot more and getting back to putting good swings on it and recognizing pitches."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.