OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics called up reliever Michael Brady and newly acquired center fielder Boog Powell from Triple-A Nashville on Friday. They sent down outfielders Jaycob Brugman and Mark Canha.
With upcoming matchups with the offensively gifted Orioles, Royals and Astros, manager Bob Melvin said Brady will provide much-needed bullpen support.
However, Oakland’s decision to replace Brugman with Powell was less expected. Brugman – a 25-year-old rookie – hit .266 in 48 games this season. Powell came over in the Aug. 6 trade that sent first baseman Yonder Alonso to the Mariners.
Powell will bat ninth against Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday.
“Whenever you acquire a player like that, you want to take a look at him,” Melvin said. “It’s just a matter of trying to see some different guys.”
Melvin said Brugman would likely return to the team when rosters expand in September. While Melvin acknowledged Brugman showed promise over the past couple of months, he said the rookie needed to become more aggressive in the outfield.
Powell was originally drafted by the Athletics in 2012. When asked before the game which current MLB player he most resembled, he pointed to Brett Gardner, the speedy center fielder who has played almost a decade with the Yankees.
That comparison brought a smile to Melvin’s face.
“If that’s the case then I would love that,” Melvin said. “[Gardner] is a pretty aggressive player who plays the game hard … so I’m hoping that [comparison] can come true.”
— Melvin said center fielder Rajai Davis will continue to start against left-handed starters after the roster shake-up. Davis is hitting .333 since the All-Star break.
— Third baseman Matt Chapman is back in the lineup on Friday. He left Thursday’s contest early with a stomach ailment.