A's bring back Canha after tweaks to swing

August 3rd, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- The A's bolstered their bench as they transitioned to National League play for a two-day tour at AT&T Park, adding to their roster ahead of Wednesday's game against their Bay rival Giants.

The versatile Canha, who can play all three outfield positions along with first base, takes the roster spot of reliever . The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Nashville after saving the A's bullpen in Tuesday's loss to the Giants by way of six innings in relief.

Right-hander Chris Smith now assumes that long-relief role, breaking from the starting staff with right-hander anticipated back from the disabled list Thursday.

Canha returns for a third time this season, his last stint a month-long stay ending June 9. Since then, he's hit .293 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 46 games with Nashville -- productive numbers that can be credited to a mechanical adjustment.

A's Minor Leaguer mentioned in passing to Canha that his front hip was leaking out, which made Canha think, "OK, that's interesting. I'll take any advice at this point."

Canha, who began the season on the A's Opening Day roster, had been struggling to find consistency at the plate, coming up with just 17 hits in a combined 89 at-bats over his first two stints with Oakland. "So I just took that piece of advice and ran with it," Canha said.

"I tinkered with it and made it into my own and kind of put it into everything else I know about my swing. And the pieces all just fit together. As soon as I made that change, I started seeing the ball a little bit better, you start driving the ball with a little more power, and everything kind of falls into place. It became kind of seeing the ball come off my bat like I'm used to seeing. I start feeling like myself a little more."

Canha, 28, is just two years removed from an impressive rookie campaign that saw him total 16 home runs and 70 RBIs in 124 games. His 2016 season was cut short by hip surgery, and he hasn't been able to stick with the club since.

"I'm not going to pressure myself and say, 'You have to hit this time,' or, 'You've got to make it work this time.' I'm just going to enjoy myself," he said. "I'm going to play baseball, have fun. That's the thing I've realized this year a little bit, is going up and down is tough. You can make it stressful on yourself if you want to. But at this point in my career, I'm just trying to enjoy the game. That's the way I feel success happens the easiest anyway."