Taylor makes start in left field

Taylor makes start in left field

Taylor makes start in left field
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- Michael Taylor had just settled in to watch a movie, "Think Like A Man," in a Sacramento, Calif., theater Wednesday evening when he felt his cell phone vibrating.

"Get packed right away. You're going to the big leagues," the caller said.

"I only saw about seven minutes of the movie," Taylor said Friday. "Luckily, we were able to get our money back."

The A's called up Taylor to replace Coco Crisp, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 3, suffering from an inner ear infection.

Friday morning, Taylor was relaxing in his hotel room in St. Petersburg, watching TV and letting it all sink in, when he learned left-hander David Price would be starting for the Tampa Bay Rays Friday night.

"I thought right then, 'Maybe I have a chance,'" the 26-year-old right-handed slugger said.

When he arrived at Tropicana Field, Taylor found his name in the starting lineup in left field. "Hopefully, I can contribute," he said.

"You go and you hope. Now comes the easy part. I've got to play."

"You like to get him in there and get him part of it right away," A's manager Bob Melvin explained.

"He knew he was coming up to be a safety valve. He's going to get some playing time. There's a good chance he'll be in the lineup enough to get a good look at him."

Taylor was hitting .347 with 13 doubles, two homers and 18 RBIs in 23 games with Sacramento and ranked second on the River Cats in on-base percentage (.390) and slugging percentage (.547). He was also leading the team in stolen bases with six, which could be significant as he fills in for the speedy Crisp.

"I hear he's playing with a lot more confidence across the board," Melvin said.

Taylor was called up last September and hit .200 in 11 games. "This looks like as good an opportunity as he's had at the major league level," Melvin said.

Crisp, who was removed from Wednesday's game in the eighth inning after going 0-for-4, was hitting .194 with no home runs and five RBI in 18 games.