OAKLAND -- The disabled list shrunk by one in Oakland on Monday, when the A's activated outfielder Coco Crisp off the disabled list and optioned utility infielder Eric Sogard to Triple-A Sacramento.
Crisp, no longer battling an inner-ear infection that kept him off the field in more than half of the club's first 42 games, returned to center field for Monday's series opener against the Angels, with regular Yoenis Cespedes still sidelined by injury. Upon Cespedes' return, Crisp is expected to return to left field.
"Hopefully this is the start of a trend," manager Bob Melvin said. "We get Coco back today, and then hopefully in a week to 10 days, we have everybody back."
By the time that 10-day period concludes, the A's are expected to have back Cespedes and Brandon Inge and also welcome in Manny Ramirez.
Crisp was batting just .194 with five RBIs in 18 games at the time his illness surfaced, and when asked how his swing felt, replied, "Fine. It couldn't be any worse than before."
"Initially I tried to play kind of through it," he said. "They suggested a DL stint at the beginning but I didn't want to go on the DL, but then I had to take the time off that I needed, and I needed it. I'm glad to be back and be done with whatever was going on."
The A's speedster gives the team another threat on the bases alongside Jemile Weeks at the top of the lineup. Crisp is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen-base attempts this season and has been successful in each of his past 27 attempts dating to last year, marking one short of the Oakland record of 28 set by Stan Javier in 1995.
Crisp, though healthy, won't play every day from the start, as the A's try to ease him back into the grind. That plan influenced the team's decision to keep Collin Cowgill aboard and demote Sogard, who was batting a dismal .136 with two home runs and six RBIs in 21 games. His last start came more than a week ago, and Melvin wanted to get him at-bats.
"He just needs some current at-bats," he said. "I haven't been able to get him in there recently. At the beginning of the season he was swinging the bat well, and then after a month or so, when your regulars are out there, those consistent at-bats fall by the wayside. He's part of this team. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll be back at some point."