Muncy transitioning into outfield role with callup

Left-handed hitter rejoins A's after Coghlan traded to Cubs

Muncy transitioning into outfield role with callup

CINCINNATI -- With the trade of Chris Coghlan to the Cubs on Thursday, Max Muncy went from Triple-A utility man to Major League starter in a matter of hours.

Muncy was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Friday to replace Coghlan and was in the starting lineup Friday against the Reds. A's manager Bob Melvin said the plan going forward will be to platoon the left-handed hitting Muncy with right-handed hitting Jake Smolinski in right field.

Until his May 25 demotion to Triple-A, Muncy wasn't even really an outfielder outside of a few isolated games. A first baseman by trade, he spent a majority of his seven-game Triple-A stint between left and right field. Coming from the infield, Muncy said the biggest adjustment has been learning to navigate the expanse of the outfield and figuring out when to throw the ball where.

"Probably the biggest thing I've had to learn is the throws," Muncy said. "When you're in the infield, you're getting rid of it quick. It's a little different when the outfield, you've got to make sure you get it to the cutoff man and knowing when to let it loose and when not to."

Worth noting

• Oakland placed left-hander Rich Hill on the disabled list Thursday. Hill hadn't pitched since injuring his groin during his May 29 start. The A's originally planned on Hill returning this weekend, but he couldn't get the injury to subside. After his latest bullpen session, it was determined by team doctors that he needs to take about a week off from throwing on a mound. Hill will, however, still be able to play catch.

"I know for a fact that he's not going to do anything for six or seven days, he's just going to rest it," Melvin said. "We kept trying to keep him active and try to push through a little bit. He's kind of a max-effort guy. It's not in his vocabulary to back off a little bit, so we'll just keep him from doing anything for probably six, seven, eight days and then get him out, play some catch, move along to a bullpen."

Khris Davis and Danny Valencia returned to the lineup on Friday after both missed the last two games. Davis was experiencing numbness in his left hand after being hit by a pitch June 5, while Valencia was suffering from a stomach illness that left him experiencing some weakness. Melvin said the time off was precautionary for both.

• Tuesday's starter is still up in the air after the Athletics sent down Jesse Hahn. The right-hander allowed 11 runs in 4 1/3 innings over his last two starts.

"He needs to be a little bit more consistent with us," Melvin said. "We saw last year, when he pitches well, he performs at a high level. When you're going out there and giving us four-plus innings, it taxes the bullpen. There's ramifications for that. Just wasn't himself. He needs to go down and work on a little bit more of a complement of pitches."

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.