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Fowler, 4 others optioned to Triple-A

A's to go with Powell, Smolinski in center
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- The A's have opted to send Dustin Fowler to Triple-A Nashville and go with Boog Powell as the left-handed complement to their center-field platoon to begin the season.

The move was expected and allows Fowler, who missed most of last season recovering from right knee surgery, the benefit of additional game action without the pressure of performing at the big league level.

OAKLAND -- The A's have opted to send Dustin Fowler to Triple-A Nashville and go with Boog Powell as the left-handed complement to their center-field platoon to begin the season.

The move was expected and allows Fowler, who missed most of last season recovering from right knee surgery, the benefit of additional game action without the pressure of performing at the big league level.

Jake Smolinski, who won the final bench spot, will share center-field duties with Powell.

The A's stuck to their word and went with an eight-man bullpen: veteran right-hander Santiago Casilla made the cut over long-relief options Frankie Montas and Raul Alcantara, who cleared waivers and was outrighted to Nashville.

The full roster below:

Catcher (2): The A's deviated from their original plan to have Bruce Maxwell and Josh Phegley form a platoon when Jonathan Lucroy became available to them. Lucroy was signed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal on March 12, and he steps in as the everyday catcher. Maxwell will back him up, while Phegley nurses two broken fingers on the disabled list.

First base (1): Budding star Matt Olson will man first base on Opening Day, readying to build on a remarkable rookie showing that featured 24 home runs in 59 games.

Second base (1): Jed Lowrie is set to return for his 11th big league season and third consecutive as the A's second baseman. The organization's top position prospect, Franklin Barreto, enjoyed a productive spring and will wait his turn in Triple-A.

Third base (1): Though the alarm sounded when Matt Chapman underwent an MRI on his sore right hand before games even started, the third baseman has health back on his side and will be at the hot corner on Opening Day.

Shortstop (1): Marcus Semien, who was slowed by right wrist surgery last year, is fully healthy as he enters another season as the A's starting shortstop.

Designated hitter (1): Khris Davis has continued to clock time in the outfield this spring, but he'll primarily be at DH when the regular season begins.

Utility (1): Chad Pinder is expected to platoon with Matt Joyce in left field, but he'll also be asked to spell the infielders at times.

Outfield (4): It's Stephen Piscotty in right field, with Joyce and Pinder sharing time in left while sandwiching the Powell-Smolinski center-field duo. Mark Canha, who was in battle with Smolinski for the final bench job, had a fantastic spring and will surely be back up at some point this year.

Video: OAK@SF: Cahill strikes out Longoria, side in the 5th

Rotation (5): The A's starting staff was riddled with injuries this spring, leaving just five healthy arms by camp's end: Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Andrew Triggs and Daniel Gossett are in line to start the first five games of the season. Veteran Trevor Cahill, a late sign, has been optioned to Triple-A in order to build up his innings but could be available to the A's in about two weeks.

Bullpen (8): Closer Blake Treinen is joined by Chris Hatcher, Emilio Pagan, Yusmeiro Petit, Ryan Buchter, Daniel Coulombe, Liam Hendriks and Casilla.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

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