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Canha homers in return from injured list

@DKramer_
May 14, 2019

SEATTLE -- Mark Canha was activated off the injured list on Monday and installed in the A’s lineup, batting sixth and playing left field for the first of a two-game set against the Mariners. Canha had been on the IL since April 29, three days after he suffered a right

SEATTLE -- Mark Canha was activated off the injured list on Monday and installed in the A’s lineup, batting sixth and playing left field for the first of a two-game set against the Mariners. Canha had been on the IL since April 29, three days after he suffered a right wrist injury during the A’s series in Toronto.

Canha went 1-for-5 in the 6-5, 10-inning loss, and homered in his first at-bat off the IL in the second inning, when he lifted a hanging slider off starter Yusei Kikuchi 364 feet into the left-field stands. He also struck out twice.

Gone is the persistent pain in his wrist, Canha said, which he described as “fast and furious” at the onset. Canha received a cortisone shot during his time on the IL and is still receiving anti-inflammatories.

“When it was at its worst, it was just everything hurt,” Canha said. “My hand, from the bottom of my hands, like all of my wrist, it just hurt everywhere. It was very uncomfortable to grip, and then obviously swinging was not fun either.”

In a corresponding move, designated hitter and first baseman Kendrys Morales was designated for assignment, ending a seven-week stint that had only manifested due to the A’s injuries at the very beginning of the season.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction (it had been 10 days under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement), the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

The A’s acquired the 13-year veteran from the Blue Jays on March 27 in exchange for Minor League infielder Jesus Lopez and international slot money, after Matt Olson required hamate excision surgery for a hand injury sustained during the club’s two-game Japan Series against the Mariners.

Morales filled in for Olson at first base, but struggled to a .204/.310/.259 slash line over 34 games, homering just once.

Oakland no longer had room for Morales after Olson returned last week and Canha returning Monday. The versatile Canha will continue to back Olson up at first and Robbie Grossman in left, and he is regularly used against right-handed pitchers as well. Nonetheless, Morales, who is making $12 million this season -- mostly paid by the Blue Jays -- made an impression during his seven-week stint with Oakland.

“Obviously his numbers weren't great with us, but he was a pro,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Last game, there was some speculation going into that game, and he is rooting for every guy on every pitch. He was instrumental with the guys in the video room, what he sees, veteran pitchers and so forth and so on. I mean, he was a terrific teammate. We wish him the best. I know he'll hook on somewhere.”

Injury updates

• Right-handed starting pitcher Marco Estrada has not yet begun a throwing program in his recovery from a minimally invasive ablation procedure on his back on April 23.

Melvin said the club expected it would take a few weeks after the procedure for it to take full effect, at which point Estrada would then begin strength and conditioning exercises, followed by a throwing program. Estrada will most likely require a Minor League rehab assignment.

Signed to a one-year, $4 million deal to help bolster what was a thin rotation last season, Estrada was 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA and a .242 batting average against in five starts, his most recent on April 16.

• Catcher Chris Herrmann is still being held from any baseball activities, Melvin said, as the veteran catcher works his way back from the arthroscopic right knee surgery he underwent on March 8.

The A’s have not yet set a target date for Herrmann to take the next significant steps in his recovery. In Herrmann’s stead, the A’s will continue to split catching duties between Nick Hundley and Josh Phegley.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.