The A’s absorbed a 4-1 defeat to the New York Yankees on Thursday night, but the real loss came with the news that right fielder Josh Reddick suffered a fractured thumb in the seventh inning.
As Reddick went into a head-first dive while stealing second base, his left hand hit the left cleat of Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro as Castro was preparing to elevate for a high throw.
Castro also knocked Reddick’s helmet off as he extended for the ball, and it appeared at first that Reddick may have simply been dazed from that impact. He stayed in the game to run but told reporters he knew something wasn’t right with his thumb when he put his glove on before the top of the eighth.
“I tried to put my glove on and squeeze it, and it didn’t happen,” Reddick said. “I got X-rays and, sure enough, a slight fracture.”
The A’s aren’t giving a timeframe for Reddick’s recovery until he sees a hand specialist Friday, but the outfielder said an initial estimate he was given was four to six weeks.
Oakland already had 11 players on the disabled list before Reddick’s injury, but his loss will be the biggest given his importance as the A’s No. 3 hitter and a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder. The timing of it stings even more as Reddick was enjoying an excellent overall season that could have lined him up for All-Star consideration. He’s hitting .322 and leads the A’s in hits (47) and runs (21). He also hit his fifth homer in Thursday’s loss, which snapped the A’s four-game winning streak.
“Frustrating isn’t even the word, more pissed off than anything,” Reddick said. “I feel like I was having a great year, cemented myself as a ‘3’ hole hitter with this team. It’s more frustrating when I do it on something I don’t do a whole lot, like stealing a bag, as opposed to diving or something outrageous like that, (that) something so simple like that can be so damaging.”
In his absence, the A’s could use Chris Coghlan in right field with Tyler Ladendorf taking over at second base (regular second baseman Jed Lowrie also is on the DL). Ladendorf played lots of outfield while at Triple-A earlier this season, and catcher Matt McBride could play out there too. Corner outfield options at Triple-A include Jake Smolinski and Andrew Lambo, who are both on the 40-man roster.
The A’s could also shift Billy Burns over to right field with Coco Crisp handling regular center field duties.