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Maxwell sent down to make room for Blackburn

MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- The A's sent Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday, leaving Josh Phegley as the backup to veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Maxwell had appeared in just 18 of the A's first 62 games and was batting .182 in a secondary role. The move allowed the A's to clear roster space for Thursday's starter, right-hander Paul Blackburn. Outfielder Boog Powell, rehabbing a strained right knee, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

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OAKLAND -- The A's sent Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday, leaving Josh Phegley as the backup to veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Maxwell had appeared in just 18 of the A's first 62 games and was batting .182 in a secondary role. The move allowed the A's to clear roster space for Thursday's starter, right-hander Paul Blackburn. Outfielder Boog Powell, rehabbing a strained right knee, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

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"It is difficult for a player that's used to playing quite a bit to acclimate to that role, whether it's once or twice a week," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Maxwell's limited playing time. "I think, in the long run, this will be good for him. It's tough to be sent down to the Minor Leagues, and obviously he's going to have to work his way back here, but I think with some consistent at-bats he certainly will."

Maxwell was appointed as the club's primary catcher nearly a year ago, after Stephen Vogt was designated for assignment, but his bat has been lagging ever since. Despite the inconsistent production, in addition to legal issues stemming from an offseason incident, the A's stuck with Maxwell and carried him on their Opening Day roster.

He drew only 16 starts as the lefty counterpart to Lucroy's right-handed bat and posted a .207 on-base percentage in 58 plate appearances.

"It's finding a niche and a work ethic that would suggest you can be successful without regular at-bats," Melvin said. "I think if we give him consistent at-bats, he'll be better for it once back."

Worth Noting
• Right-hander Santiago Casilla (shoulder strain) could be activated from the DL as soon as Friday, Melvin said.

• Righty Andrew Triggs (triceps) threw a bullpen session Thursday and is scheduled for another Sunday. The A's expect him to begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon thereafter.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Bruce Maxwell