SEATTLE -- No matter how much Astros manager A.J. Hinch praises Josh Reddick for his stellar play in left field, the veteran isn't afraid to remind the skipper that he's a right fielder. Reddick continues to prove he's a steady hand anywhere Hinch puts him in the field and at the plate.
Reddick made a pair of diving catches in left field and clubbed a two-run home run in the third inning to help the Astros win for the fifth time in six games, 5-2, over the Mariners on Saturday night at Safeco Field. It was only his seventh start of the season in left field, though he often moves from right to left late in games as a defensive replacement.
"The versatility has been huge," Hinch said. "He hasn't done it a ton in his career. He's been very selfless about it. He's a tremendous right fielder; he's got a Gold Glove. He's never had a problem in right field, but the way we're configured, sometimes we need him to play left field, especially in a big outfield like this. We ran some balls down very well and not just the ones we caught, but the ones we kept them at doubles instead of triples. The two diving plays that Reddick made are huge."
The toughest of Reddick's two diving catches came in the seventh, when he ran in and laid out to rob Taylor Motter of a hit. It was rated a four-star snag with a catch probability of 44 percent by Statcast™, as Reddick traveled 51 feet in 3.6 seconds to complete the grab. The first catch came in the first, as Reddick prevented Jean Segura's well-hit ball -- which had a 79 percent hit probability, according to Statcast™ -- from dropping.
"It's still tough," Reddick says of playing in left. "I'm still learning a lot of the angles, a lot of the way the ball comes at you. Fortunately, we got some good breaks tonight and I was able to hold onto the ball and keep them out of the lights. If either of those balls gets in the lights, I might be in trouble. I've got to keep working at it and hopefully I'll still improve as the year goes on."
Since coming off the concussion disabled list on Tuesday, Reddick is hitting .471 (8-for-17) with three doubles, a triple, two homers and three RBIs. He's having a tremendous season overall, hitting .295 with eight homers, 27 RBIs, a .352 on-base percentage and .845 OPS.
"It's a lot easier when you have guys like [Jose] Altuve and [Carlos] Correa hitting behind you," he said. "Those guys make it seem like it's a lot easier to get more pitches to hit. I would like to be hitting a little more homers, but hopefully in these last few games it's been something I've found the stroke in that department."