The Astros are so good that they can bat Josh Reddick third in back to back games versus a lefty. Before game one of the Braves series, manager A.J. Hinch surprised fans by batting him third. Is this a new thing to bat Reddick third?
According to Brian McTaggart, the switch was designed to give George Springer protection in the lineup. Playing in Atlanta, the pitcher batted in front of Springer, so Hinch moved Jose Altuve up to bat second. Reddick has hit better against left-handed pitchers, so Hinch was comfortable with him there.
Reddick did so well batting third that Hinch gave him two more starts before the break and the Astros once again scored double-digits. In those two games versus the Braves, Reddick had five hits in 11 at-bats while driving in seven runs. This was including a meaningless grand slam in the ninth inning last versus the Braves. He did well versus the Blue Jays as well.
Reddick has batted third for most of his career, with 281 starts there. He has hit 51 of his 105 career homers batting third. This year, Reddick has raised his average to .313 average with a .880 OPS.
Since being moved to the top of the order, Reddick has sparked the offense. He may only have nine homers, but he has scored 55 runs while driving in 41.
Reddick will bat third to open the second-half of the season tonight. The real question is if Reddick is an everyday player? While he did get some hits versus the Braves lefties, the other two at-bats he looked overmatched. Reddick looked bad during his two strikeouts. However, he has a decent slash line versus the lefties except for the power.
Reddick has ridden the pine many times this year versus left-handed starters. When Reddick is out of the lineup, Altuve bats second and Carlos Correa bats third. If Reddick bats third, Correa will bat fourth. Not sure if this is a thing now, but maybe Hinch will ride the hot hand right now. This team is exciting no matter where they bat.