The Oakland Athletics activated outfielder Coco Crisp and optioned outfielder Craig Gentry to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds ahead of Wednesday's contest against the Minnesota Twins. Crisp had been on a rehabilitation assignment with the Class High-A Stockton Ports and appeared in two games, going 2-for-8 with a double, a walk, a no strikeouts. Crisp will lead off and play left field tonight, with Billy Burns batting second against Twins starter Kyle Gibson:
Tonight's lineup puts both Mark Canha and Sam Fuld on the bench. Canha had been getting multiple starts in left field against right-handers, and Fuld had been starting games in center field before Burns's arrival. Fuld last started on May 3 in left field. Billy Burns is off to a 7-for-19 start with a double, a walk, and two strikeouts (.368/.400/.421).
The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser analyzed the lineup possibilities ahead of Wednesday's decision, noting that the "A's typically do not like their top young players to sit on the bench for very long":
Here's what I could see happening: Perhaps the A's keep Burns while he's hot, give Crisp a few more days off here and there initially than he usually might get off because he's missed so much time. Send Gentry down and let him get his swing back. And when that happens, perhaps, swap Gentry and Burns again; Burns is a good defensive outfielder and Gentry a superb one and he is greatly experienced coming off the bench. They're both exceedingly fast baserunners.
Craig Gentry suffered from a slow start this year, going 0 for his first 22 while starting in only six of the team's first 17 games, with the team facing just four left-handed starters in that span. Gentry has since gone 3-for-13, all singles, one of them a bunt. He is batting .086/.175/.086 with three walks and 13 strikeouts in 40 plate appearances. For his career, the 31-year-old Gentry has batted .266/.339/.337 over seven seasons. This optional assignment is Gentry's first since he started the 2011 season with Round Rock, the Texas Rangers Triple-A team.