Reddick ready and willing when called upon

Reddick ready and willing when called upon

Reddick ready and willing when called upon
BOSTON -- After a Sunday doubleheader in Detroit and a long night of travel, the Red Sox finally arrived back in Boston early Monday morning and most of the players went home.

Josh Reddick wasn't one of them.

He arrived at a Boston hotel at 3 a.m. ET and called that home for a night, something he's had to do plenty of times over the past three years, when he's made several stops with the big league club but stayed long enough for only a cup of coffee.

The 24-year-old outfielder has been enjoying his most recent promotion to the Red Sox for only a week, but his role with the team has become increasingly cloudier. With J.D. Drew in right field against most right-handed pitchers and Mike Cameron taking over against lefties, Reddick has been little more than a fifth outfielder, likely keeping the seat warm for Darnell McDonald, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps.

Even worse for Reddick, he's the fourth left-handed outfielder the Sox have.

"But I'm not complaining," he said, sitting at his locker before Monday night's game against the White Sox, Reddick's first home game with the club this season. "I'd much rather be here. All you can do is be ready when you're called upon, and the rest is out of my control."

When Reddick left Triple-A Pawtucket, he was hitting just .248, but he led the team with 21 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs. He was third in the International League with 12 home runs through 44 games, and that has yet to change.

"It probably will by the time I get back there," he said, smiling. "But it's OK. Like I said, I'm not complaining."

In two games with Boston this season, Reddick is 4-for-8 with three RBIs and a stolen base. But returning to Fenway Park for the first time since last season was something he was excited about.

"There is an adjustment," he said about playing at Fenway, "and you can try to hit them off the [left-field] wall, but you really shouldn't change your swing like that. Fenway is a good place to play. You hit a couple to the warning track at McCoy [Stadium in Pawtucket] that might be out here."

Reddick is a strong candidate to make the IL All-Star Game, though he'd be more excited about cracking the roster for the Home Run Derby, something he's never participated in.

But for now, he'll be ready when called upon, looking to make a better impression than he has the past two seasons, when he's combined to hit .182 over 121 at-bats.

The drive to and from his Pawtucket home is inconvenient, and a demotion back to the Minors could happen any day.

One of the younger players, he's one of the few who isn't married, and his dog is the only one waiting for him when he gets home.

"I kind of like it that way," he said.

At least for now.

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.