OAKLAND -- The disabled list shrunk by one in Oakland on Monday, when the A's activated outfielder Coco Crisp off the disabled list and optioned utility infielder Eric Sogard to Triple-A Sacramento.
Crisp, no longer battling an inner-ear infection that kept him off the field in more than half of the club's first 42 games, returned to center field for Monday's series opener against the Angels, with regular Yoenis Cespedes still sidelined by injury. Upon Cespedes' return, Crisp is expected to return to left field.
"Hopefully this is the start of a trend," manager Bob Melvin said. "We get Coco back today, and then hopefully in a week to 10 days, we have everybody back."
By the time that 10-day period concludes, the A's are expected to have back Cespedes and Brandon Inge and also welcome in Manny Ramirez.
Crisp was batting just .194 with five RBIs in 18 games at the time his illness surfaced, and when asked how his swing felt, replied, "Fine. It couldn't be any worse than before."
"Initially I tried to play kind of through it," he said. "They suggested a DL stint at the beginning but I didn't want to go on the DL, but then I had to take the time off that I needed, and I needed it. I'm glad to be back and be done with whatever was going on."
The A's speedster gives the team another threat on the bases alongside Jemile Weeks at the top of the lineup. Crisp is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen-base attempts this season and has been successful in each of his past 27 attempts dating to last year, marking one short of the Oakland record of 28 set by Stan Javier in 1995.
Crisp, though healthy, won't play every day from the start, as the A's try to ease him back into the grind. That plan influenced the team's decision to keep Collin Cowgill aboard and demote Sogard, who was batting a dismal .136 with two home runs and six RBIs in 21 games. His last start came more than a week ago, and Melvin wanted to get him at-bats.
"He just needs some current at-bats," he said. "I haven't been able to get him in there recently. At the beginning of the season he was swinging the bat well, and then after a month or so, when your regulars are out there, those consistent at-bats fall by the wayside. He's part of this team. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll be back at some point."
No timetable for Cespedes' return from DL
OAKLAND -- A's center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is eligible to return to the team's lineup on Tuesday, but the rookie will remain on the disabled list at least through the three-game series with the Angels that began Monday.
Cespedes, who was placed on the DL on May 12 retroactive to May 7, is still being bothered by a strained muscle in his left hand. Though he said his hand feels better than it did last week, Cespedes hasn't been able to swing a bat in his rehab. A's manager Bob Melvin said there's currently no definitive timetable for his return.
"It's going to be how he progresses as far as how his hand feels," Melvin said. "I think it's pretty obvious he won't play in this series, and then we'll just see. If he's at the point where the medical staff feels he's able to swing a bat and take some swings in the cage, then we'll probably start to have a better indication what the timetable is."
Cespedes had emerged as a power threat in his first season in the Major Leagues, and his absence has hurt the struggling A's lineup. The team has scored just 24 runs in its past eight games, hitting .193 in that span.
At the time of Cespedes' injury, his 21 RBIs and four stolen bases led all rookies, and his five home runs were tied for the lead. The earliest he could return now appears to be Friday, when the A's open a three-game series with the Yankees at home.
Godfrey to start Tuesday for McCarthy
OAKLAND -- The A's are not ready to announce Graham Godfrey as their Tuesday starter, but his appearance in the team's clubhouse Monday afternoon all but assured that notion.
His promotion will become official Tuesday, when a corresponding 25-man roster move is made.
Godfrey made three starts with the A's, struggling to the tune of a 0-3 record and 5.06 ERA with seven walks in 16 innings, before being optioned to Triple-A on April 21. Since, he's been stellar with the River Cats, going 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA, walking just five and fanning 22 in 29 2/3 innings.
The right-hander will be starting in place of Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained right shoulder. This will mark his first career appearance against the Angels.
Brandon Inge, sidelined by a right groin strain, was set to take ground balls and swing the bat on Monday, marking the first time he's participated in baseball activities since going on the disabled list Thursday. If all goes well, Melvin believes he'll be ready to return to the starting lineup when eligible on May 28.
Entering Monday, the A's had made just six errors over the past 16 games after committing 19 in their first 26 contests.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. Ben Estes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.