Reddick returns to A's lineup

Right fielder started the season on 15-day DL with oblique strain

Reddick returns to A's lineup

OAKLAND -- A's right fielder Josh Reddick returned to the starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Mariners after missing the first six games of the year with an oblique injury. Awaiting him on the mound? None other than Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.

It's nothing new for Reddick and the A's, who faced King Felix on Opening Day in 2012 and 2013.

"Why change it now?" Reddick said with a smirk.

In a corresponding move, Oakland sent rookie infielder Tyler Ladendorf down to Triple-A Nashville.

If Reddick had his way, he would have returned from the 15-day disabled list when eligible on Saturday. But he received a phone call from manager Bob Melvin Thursday morning, saying he would stay with Class-A Stockton for an extra day of rehab while the A's faced Seattle southpaw J.A. Happ.

"Obviously it wasn't the news I wanted to hear," Reddick said. "But that's how they work. As much as I would have loved to come back and play yesterday, I think their reason was a lefty starting. Still itching under my skin a little bit, because I just want to be out there every day.

"Whether it's C.J. Wilson or David Price or today with Felix, I want to be out there no matter what. It was kind of a downer to hear that, but at the same time, sort of understand it. Here we are. That's yesterday and that's over. We're focused on today right now."

Reddick batted eighth in Sunday's lineup, and Melvin said he'd like to see how the outfielder performs before moving him up in the order. In his two games with the Class-A Advanced Stockton Ports, Reddick went 1-for-7 with a walk and two strikeouts.

"Took some good swings on balls and hit quite a few balls hard," Reddick said, adding that he hasn't had any discomfort in the oblique area. "At that point that's all I was really worried about. Now it's more about results than just putting the ball in play and hitting it hard."

As for Ladendorf, it sounds like the 27-year-old utility man made good on his first big-league opportunity. Ladendorf went 2-for-10 and played second base, third base, center field and left field in his four games with Oakland, driving home a couple of runs in his MLB debut on Wednesday.

"He had a great spring for us," Melvin said. "He was instrumental in the games that he was a part of here. He's versatile, can play multiple positions. We feel like he's one of our guys now, he's just not here right now."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.