CHICAGO -- A's interim manager Bob Melvin plans to take full advantage of backup catcher Landon Powell, utilizing him not just when regular Kurt Suzuki is in need of a day off but when he can "get him in there where he can have success."
"I want to try to profile what kind of hitter he is, who he's had success against, and try to get him in those games," Melvin said.
Powell received his first start behind the plate under Melvin on Sunday in the club's 5-4 loss, playing battery mate to right-hander Guillermo Moscoso. It marked his first start since June 4 against the Red Sox and just his 13th this year. Suzuki, meanwhile, had seen time in 27 over the last 29 days.
Melvin knows first-hand the demands of a big league catcher, having spent 10 Major League seasons behind the plate with seven teams.
"Kurt wants to play every day," he said. "He's able to do it, but you also want to keep him fresh. I think, even as a regular behind the plate when you're playing that much, you don't even understand the toll it takes on you.
"I want everyone to be part of it. We need to get [Powell] involved. He does a nice job behind the plate."
The 29-year-old Powell entered Sunday hitting .204 in just 49 at-bats this season and had tossed out three of eight basestealers. Powell struck out twice and walked once to lower his average to .196. Josh Willingham pinch-hit for him in ninth inning with two runners on base.