Unless Jason Bay’s injured hamstring requires him to rejoin the parent club, the latest sensation in Red Sox nation is expected to make his PawSox debut tonight at McCoy Stadium – 22-year-old outfielder Josh Reddick.
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Reddick, who entered 2009 as Boston’s #5 prospect according to Baseball America, has had an incredible year.
He began the season with Double-A Portland. After going 0-for-4 in the season opener, he proceeded to hit home runs in each of the next 4 games.
Unfortunately, his powerful swing proved costly as Reddick strained an oblique muscle on a home run swing on April 29th (his 6th HR of the month) and was out of action for 5 weeks.
That makes his overall numbers with Portland that much more impressive, as Reddick had 17 doubles, 3 triples, and 13 HR in only 256 at-bats for a .520 slugging pct.
On July 31st, he leapfrogged Pawtucket and went directly from Double-A to the major leagues. After going grounding out as a pinch-hitter in his first big league at-bat, Reddick had a pair of doubles in his first start, and two hits including a home run off of Baltimore’s Brian Bass in his second start.
Josh credits his success to his father Kenny who was seriously injured on the job before his son’s first birthday. Kenny Reddick was electrocuted while working for the power company in Georgia and lost half of his left arm and two fingers on his right hand (you can read Joe McDonald’s account in the Providence Journal here).
No longer able to work for Savannah Electric, Mr. Reddick dedicated his life to helping Josh realize his dream of becoming a pro baseball player, and one can only imagine what it must have meant to him when the Red Sox promoted his son last week.
I can’t wait to see Reddick in action, although I’m slightly disappointed that he went to Boston first because the PawSox are getting the clean-cut version.
Before getting the call-up from Portland, Reddick was rocking a Mohawk.
And a less-than-flattering mustache (and least in this blogger’s opinion).
With a roster than includes Reddick, Jeff Bailey, Brian Anderson, Chris Carter, and Chris Duncan, I can’t imagine the PawSox offensive woes are going to continue in August.
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The Norfolk Tides are managed by Gary “Muggsy”Allenson who was named the International League’s MVP while playing for Pawtucket in 1978.
That year, Allenson batted .299 with 20 HR and 76 RBI, and he tells a great self-depreciating story about his batting average.
We all know what Ted Williams did on the final day of the 1941 season. He was batting .39955 going into a doubleheader and manager Joe Cronin gave him the option of staying on the bench to finish with a rounded-up average of .400. Williams opted to play and went 6-for-8 to finish at .406.
Allenson was the anti-Ted. He was hitting over .300 going into the final day of the ’78 season and PawSox manager Joe Morgan gave him the option of sitting out to preserve his average. Allenson gladly took him up on the offer.
Unfortunately, minor league stats were not as reliable in the 1970’s, and a mathematical error was discovered several weeks later that dropped his average to .299.
The moral of the story? When in doubt, do what Ted Williams did.
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We certainly have an interesting pitching matchup to look forward to on Thursday night as Randor Bierd squares off against former PawSox pitcher David Pauley. They were traded for each other on January 17th.
I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.