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With playing time lacking, Smolinski optioned

MLB.com @JaneMLB

BOSTON -- The A's kept busy on the transaction wire Wednesday -- optioning outfielder Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville -- and will continue to do Thursday, when they plan to place catcher Bruce Maxwell on the restricted list.

Josh Phegley will be promoted from Nashville for an expected short stay, assuming backup catching duties for four games across the border in place of Maxwell, whose ongoing legal issues will keep him out of Toronto.

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BOSTON -- The A's kept busy on the transaction wire Wednesday -- optioning outfielder Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville -- and will continue to do Thursday, when they plan to place catcher Bruce Maxwell on the restricted list.

Josh Phegley will be promoted from Nashville for an expected short stay, assuming backup catching duties for four games across the border in place of Maxwell, whose ongoing legal issues will keep him out of Toronto.

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Maxwell last month reached a plea deal with the state of Arizona, pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, but he does not face sentencing until June 4. His case dates to November, when he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct after allegedly pointing a gun at a food delivery worker outside of his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Under Canadian immigration laws, a charge with a gun enhancement can prevent entry.

Smolinski had been with the A's since Opening Day, but he had just four hits in 34 at-bats while losing playing time to Mark Canha, who has shown to be a consistent producer and an improved glove in center field. He'll continue to platoon with Dustin Fowler at the position.

"Canha came in and did his thing and has really gotten comfortable in center field," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He continues to swing the bat and be productive, so that kind of paved the way for the inactivity for Jake here and going back to Triple-A. He wants to play and get himself right, and you appreciate that as a manager when you have guys that are pretty realistic about what's going on."

Smolinski, whose roster spot went to Wednesday starter Trevor Cahill, had played in just six of the A's last 26 games.

"Jake wants to play, though, and I think when you don't play for an extended period of time, get some at-bats, you don't feel comfortable," Melvin said. "There's some guys that just want to stay in the big leagues and other guys that just want to play, so he was not disappointed in that. I think he knew it was coming, and he wants to go get at-bats and work his way back here like he has many times. We appreciate guys like him who really want to work and play and be ready the next time he's called."

Worth noting

• Rehabbing pitchers Paul Blackburn (forearm) and Liam Hendriks (groin/hip) are throwing to Minor League hitters as they continue their rehabs.

• Outfielder Boog Powell (right knee) has begun baseball activity, Melvin said.

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

Oakland Athletics, Jake Smolinski