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Speedster Burns rejoins A's; Ross designated

MLB.com @JaneMLB

ARLINGTON -- Speedster Billy Burns rejoined the A's for Saturday's matchup in Arlington, getting a start in center field while manning leadoff duties against the Rangers.

His return, which allows the A's to rest a struggling Sam Fuld, prompted the organization to designate Cody Ross for assignment. Ross' 40-man roster spot went to outfielder Alex Hassan, reclaimed off waivers by the A's for a third time in six months.

Full Game Coverage

ARLINGTON -- Speedster Billy Burns rejoined the A's for Saturday's matchup in Arlington, getting a start in center field while manning leadoff duties against the Rangers.

His return, which allows the A's to rest a struggling Sam Fuld, prompted the organization to designate Cody Ross for assignment. Ross' 40-man roster spot went to outfielder Alex Hassan, reclaimed off waivers by the A's for a third time in six months.

Full Game Coverage

Ross collected just two hits in 22 at-bats over eight games with the A's, who signed the free agent on April 8 after he was released from the D-backs.

"What a pro he is," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Didn't get a great opportunity here. It looked like we were going to get a lot of left-handers for a while, and they kept going by the wayside, and he wasn't able to get in there on a regular basis, but was terrific in our clubhouse, a pro with great experience. We just didn't give him enough of an opportunity to show what he can do for us, but really enjoyed my time with him. He's a great guy."

Burns was on the A's Opening Day roster, but didn't appear in the club's first two games ahead of his demotion to Nashville. He went on to hit .315 with three RBIs in 21 games for the Sounds, continuing the success he enjoyed all spring with the big league club, for which the switch-hitter batted .335 while impressing with an improved bat from the left side.

"Night and day, really, for me," said Melvin. "Granted, he had a good spring last year, but you could see, it was basically to left field, they started playing him a little bit cheaper over there.

"I think the fact that he's a little bit stronger, he's able to pull the ball more, and you're not just going to be able to play him one way. That, and the way he was playing right now, really factored into the decision that we made. But we were really pleased to see the strides he had made this spring."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oakland Athletics, Billy Burns, Cody Ross