Houston Astros Rumors: Josh Reddick in the most danger of losing his job

Josh Reddick of the Houston Astros (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Josh Reddick of the Houston Astros (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros have an incredibly solid lineup from top to bottom with few holes. However, heading into the season, Josh Reddick is most in danger of losing his job.

The Houston Astros are a week into Spring Training. It’s been phenomenal seeing these guys back in uniform prepping for the season. The Astros are slated to take the field for their first exhibition game on Friday against the Nationals.

This will be a great test for the health of star players like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa. Well, if they play, which is always up in the air for exhibition games, especially for the first one.

This will also be a good showcase for the team and fans to see their offseason acquisitions in action. The first guy they added this offseason was Aledmys Diaz. After that, they added two more position players in Robinson Chirinos and Michael Brantley. Left-handed pitcher Wade Miley was also brought in to bolster the rotation.

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Diaz is working on increasing his versatility to take over for Marwin Gonzalez as the team’s Swiss army knife. Chirinos will be platooning with Max Stassi at catcher. While Brantley gives the Houston Astros their best left fielder they’ve had in a while.

As I said in the intro, the Houston Astros have a fantastic lineup. Their infield is phenomenal with Chirinos/Stassi at catcher, Yuli Gurriel at first, Altuve at second, Correa at short, and Bregman at third. Their outfield is just as stacked with Brantley in left, George Springer in center, and Josh Reddick in left.

Catcher is an obvious weak point in this lineup but there aren’t really any options right now to improve that position. Plus, Chirinos and Stassi should be able capably hold it down. The other potential hole in the lineup is in right field with Reddick.

Reddick was a key cog in the machine that captured the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2017. He undeniably had the best year of his career that year and the Houston Astros looked like geniuses for signing him to a 4 year $52 million deal.

Then, 2018 rolled around and Reddick came crashing back to earth. His batting average dropped 70 points, his on-base percentage dropped 50 points, and his slugging percentage dropped 80 points.

The one positive was he more homers in ’18, 17, than he did in ’17, 13. However, the Houston Astros didn’t benefit any more from it because he drove in almost half as many runs in ’18 than he did in 17.

The Houston Astros need Reddick to produce at a higher level in 2019 to ensure another trip to the playoffs and a potential second championship in three years. Right field is often a plus position offensively, Reddick has the potential to be that for the Astros.

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However, he also has the potential to be an offensive black hole for the Astros as 2018 showed. The team has other options that could provide some offensive firepower if Reddick doesn’t pan out.

Tony Kemp is on the roster bubble but his bat and on-base ability is a plus. Kyle Tucker has all of the potential in the world to be an offensive juggernaut after struggling last year. There is also Jake Marisnick who isn’t any better offensively but is a better defender than Reddick.

Needless to say, Reddick isn’t in any immediate danger of losing his job. However, if he struggles offensively, the team could look to take the next step on offense and replace him in the lineup. It wouldn’t be ideal but teams have to make hard decisions when in pursuit of a championship.

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Reddick’s past two seasons with the Houston Astros have been equal parts Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Lots of good. Lots of bad. It will be interesting to see which Reddick the team gets in 2019, time will tell.