OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick said he appreciated the timing of his return to the A's lineup tonight, though it wasn't planned. Reddick, who missed the last three games with a right wrist sprain, received his 2012 Gold Glove on the field before the A's played the Detroit Tigers and then returned to the outfield for the first time since crashing into a wall in Houston in the series finale against the Astros.
The occasion was particularly special for Reddick in that eight members of his family -- or "7 1/2," as he put it -- were on hand from Georgia to see their first game in Oakland since the right fielder joined the A's last season. They included his parents, Kenny and Cheryl, his grandparents, his brother and his infant niece (the 1/2). Reddick said they arrived a few hours before the game after being delayed overnight in Atlanta.
Reddick last season became the first A's outfielder to win a Gold Glove since Dwayne Murphy in 1985. He ranked third among American League outfielders with 15 assists, which tied for the third-most in Oakland history and was the most since Mike Davis had 16 in 1983.
"It means a ton," Reddick said. "I had a feeling I was going to be mentioned. But I never thought in my wildest dreams that in my first full year I'd win that award, especially with all the great guys out there like (Jeff) Francoeur and (Shin-Soo) Choo who I went up against. Definitely a huge surprise."
One effect of the number of outfield assists Reddick had last year is that it's a total he's inherently unlikely to replicate. Teams know about Reddick's arm now and may be less likely to challenge him than in 2012. Reddick and manager Bob Melvin said they've noticed that happening already.
"Teams that go first to third a lot are all of a sudden shutting down on a guy like him," Melvin said. "Word gets around quick, and the reason is he's very accurate, he charges the ball and he has a good throwing arm. So it's not a surprise anymore."
"Hopefully it'll be something to where I can still throw out guys," Reddick said. "At the same time if they hold up it could help us out either way."
Reddick said before today's game his wrist doesn't affect him throwing. He swung a bat in the cages Wednesday and took batting practice yesterday. He and Melvin said he could have played in the series finale against the Angels on Thursday, but he was held out of the A's 8-1 win, their eighth in a row.
"I've seen a team that hasn't needed me the last three days," Reddick said.
-- Matt Kawahara