Outfielder Boog Powell had a convincing reason for bowing out of his scheduled A’s debut Friday night: He couldn’t breathe.
Powell, acquired from Seattle in the Yonder Alonso trade on Aug. 6, started feeling dizzy as he caught fly balls during batting practice. He had been sick the previous two days, and before long his ailment turned into a full-blown asthma attack.
Powell periodically has used an inhaler since childhood, but he said this episode was his first in 10 years. He ended up visiting the emergency room, where he received breathing treatment.
He felt better Saturday, took a long run at the Coliseum around lunchtime and emerged in good shape. Manager Bob Melvin put Powell in Saturday night’s lineup, leading off and playing center field against the Orioles.
“My asthma is normally exercise-induced, but unless I’m sick I can contain it,” Powell said Saturday. “ … During BP (on Friday), I honestly couldn’t breathe. I was breathing like 50 percent. I was sweating, everything.
“It was such a letdown, not to be able to make my debut with the A’s. But today is the day, so I’m excited.”
Melvin seemed curious to see Powell in action. He hit only .194 in 36 at-bats for the Mariners, but he also hit .340 in 206 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma.
Melvin, asked what he wants to find out about Powell, cracked, “I want to find out he hits .500, plays center field really well and steals two bags a game.”
Yep, the A’s could use that.
Ron Kroichick is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @ronkroichick
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