Bruce Maxwell never overwhelmed scouts with his performance at the plate during his time in the minor leagues, but the German-born catcher broke out at the plate in his first taste of the Triple-A level. During his time in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, the 25-year-old slashed .321/.393/.539 to go with 10 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Thanks to this strong showing, Maxwell ended up being the player called up when the Athletics were short on catchers at the major league level, and he certainly made the most of his opportunity. In 92 at-bats, he batted .283 with six doubles, a home run and 14 RBI. He doesn't have much prospect shine, but results carry a lot of weight, which should allow the backstop to compete for a roster spot in spring training. That being said, looking at his historical numbers at the plate and his ridiculously high .373 BABIP, it's hard to believe that his 2016 campaign was anything more than an incredibly well-timed outlier.
Maxwell went 1-for-2 with a single and a run in Thursday's 5-1 Cactus League win over the Rangers. The reserve catcher broke through with his first hit of the spring in the sixth and scored later in the inning on another single by promising outfield prospect Jaycob Brugman. Maxwell has an uphill climb to unseat veteran Josh Phegley for the backup catcher role and is likely to start the season at Triple-A Nashville, where he slashed a superb .321/.393/.539 with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 41 RBI over 219 plate appearances in 2016. However, given Maxwell's solid stint with Oakland last season -- one that saw him slash .283/.337/.402 over 101 plate appearances across 33 games -- an appearance at the big league level is highly likely at some point in the coming season if he doesn't make the final roster out of spring training.
Maxwell has been recalled Maxwell is being called up due to Stephen Vogt being placed on the family medical list. He has been hitting the ball well in Nashville this season posting a .321 batting average to go along with ten home runs in 60 games.
The Athletics announced on Sunday that they optioned pitchers Eury De La Rosa and Chad Smith to Triple-A affiliate Nashville. With the Diamondbacks a year ago, De La Rosa posted a 2.95 ERA in 25 appearances. But with the A's this spring training, De La Rosa has a 4.50 ERA with two earned runs and four hits allowed in four innings pitched. He's struck out five batters. Smith has a 4.50 ERA in two innings pitched for the A's this spring. He's allowed three hits and one earned run while striking out one batter. The Athletics also announced that they have reassigned Matt Buschmann , Bruce Maxwell , Alden Carrithers and Niuman Romero to minor-league camp.
The Athletics re-assigned infielder Shane Peterson, pitchers Andrew Werner, Jose Flores and Jeremy McBryde and catcher Bruce Maxwell to minor-league camp on Sunday.