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Opportunity could knock for Josh Donaldson at third base

The latest from Papago …

Josh Donaldson is a player who might factor largely in the A’s third base picture if Scott Sizemore misses significant time with a knee injury. Sizemore was scheduled for an MRI on his left knee at 9:30 a.m. (MT) Monday, and manager Bob Melvin said he wasn’t expecting results until later in the afternoon. But the A’s are preparing alternative options at third, and Donaldson, a catcher who has been getting increased time at third early in camp, has caught Melvin’s eye.

Adam Rosales and Eric Sogard – the other logical third base options – will continue working all over the infield as utility men. Donaldson will focus solely on third. “Everybody likes his actions,” Melvin said. “He worked double-time yesterday and was already doing some early work today. You can tell he’s got a little different pep in his step right now. Guys sense an opportunity and I like to see that. Yesterday just looked like a day where he sensed a hole.”

The A’s acquired Donaldson, 26, during the 2008 season from the Chicago Cubs as part of a four-player package for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin. At that time, a few scouts told me they thought Donaldson might be a hidden gem in that deal. But his only big league time so far came in 2010, when he got in 14 games at catcher and hit .156 with a homer and four RBIs.

One player who won’t be playing any third right now is Grant Green, the 2009 first-round pick who the A’s converted from shortstop to center field last season. Some scouts projected Green as an eventual third baseman when he was drafted out of USC, but the A’s want him focusing solely on learning center. That makes sense to me. There’s no use throwing another major switch at the guy, although I do wonder what the addition of Yoenis Cespedes (another center field option) means for Green long-term. I think the A’s would like Green and Michael Choice to be as ready as possible to play center and then switch them to a corner spot if roster needs call for it.

More to come on Sizemore later in the day …

Joe Stiglich

  • Stan

    Your killing me Joe with stats of 26,.156.1HR,4RBI.
    Moneyball= Losing to maximize profits.
    .156?..Killing me.