OAKLAND -- With Yoenis Cespedes still on the mend, the A's brought in center-field help Friday by calling up Collin Cowgill, a move that led to the demotion of Michael Taylor.
Cespedes, who has missed three straight games because of a muscle strain in the back of his left hand, could potentially be back in the lineup Saturday. But nothing is guaranteed, and the A's were in need of a true center fielder, so as to allow Josh Reddick to return to familiar ground in right field.
"It's tough duty for Reddick to have to move over to center field after being in right for as long as he has," manager Bob Melvin said. "We knew we needed someone we could count on in center field, and Collin's been that guy. Certainly nothing Michael Taylor did to deserve to go down, but more just about need of a center fielder."
Cowgill, 25, was on the A's Opening Day roster but appeared in just four games before being optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on April 17 to garner more at-bats. He struggled from the get-go, hitting .179 over his first seven games before finding a groove and batting .340 over his final 12. Overall, he compiled a .387 average with runners in scoring position and tallied two home runs and 16 RBIs with four stolen bases.
Cowgill was immediately inserted into the lineup Friday, batting ninth against the Tigers.
For Taylor, the trip back to Sacramento follows a short stay in Oakland, where he collected three hits in 16 at-bats for a .188 average spanning four games. Though the numbers aren't overwhelming, Melvin said he was impressed by his at-bats.
"They were more competitive here than we've seen in the past," he said. "He seems to be playing with a lot more confidence. I know his numbers would show that he wasn't tearing the cover off the ball here, but he's had some tough assignments in his starts and did some things for us."