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ANAHEIM It was a crazy Sunday morning for Mark Canha after learning the As had called him up to the big leagues.
Waking up in New Orleans, Canha boarded a 6 a.m. flight, made a connection in Dallas, and flew into Orange County to arrive at Angel Stadium less than two hours before game time.
How did he manage to still have energy upon his arrival?
You just slam a coffee and go, Canha said. It was a big one. Venti.
After hitting .364 with four home runs in the Cactus League, having what As manager Bob Melvin called the best spring of any As hitter, Canhas inexperience in center field led to him missing out on an opening day roster spot with the As deciding to go with an eight-man bullpen.
But with Boog Powell having to go on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his right knee, a spot opened up, and Canhas strong spring positioned him at the top of the list for a call up.
Weve seen Mark be a very productive player for us. He had a great spring, Melvin said. Hes always been a big part of this team, its just sometimes he hasnt been here.
Canha, 29, now gives the As three right-handed batters in the outfield. With a group of lefties set to face the As in the next week, Canha figures to get his share of chances to play.
Getting several days off before the start of the minor league season, Canha was worried the extra days off would mess with the momentum he had built coming off the strong spring at the plate. But a home run in his first game with Triple-A Nashville brought relief to the San Jose native as a sign that his hot bat is still there.
Whenever youre swinging the bat well and see results like that towards the end when you see the season coming up it always feels good, Canha said. Its always nice to have some confidence going into day one. I was a little worried about being rusty from the days off but it all still feels good. As a hitter, you just want to hold on to this momentum as long as you can.
I was a little bit worried going into this season just because I had so many days off not playing with live looks. I had been putting good swings on the ball and kind of got to Nashville during batting practice and still felt like it was there. You never know after you take four or five days off, but everything was still there and everything still feels great.