By John Hickey
Saturday, February 16th, 2013 at 9:29 am in 2013 spring training.
PHOENIX – Jed Lowrie and Chris Young’s first work for the A’s will be serious departures from their previous work elsewhere.
Lowrie, a starting shortstop with the Astros last year when injury wasn’t keeping him down, and young, who has been an All-Star as a center fielder with the Diamondbacks, join the first day of Oakland full-squad workouts Sunday without a set spot.
Lowrie will get work at third base and second base in addition to short. For the moment, Young will be the backup in left, center and right and could see time as the DH, too.
It’s not going to be easy for either man, manager Bob Melvin said Saturday.
“I’ll map it out so he’ll know a few days in advance where he’ll be playing,’’ Melvin said. “He’ll know one day he’ll be in `X’ spot and another day he’ll be in `X’ spot. I talked to him about it. He didn’t complain. And I told him things will work themselves out this spring.’’
Lowrie came aboard as insurance with the A’s casting their lot with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima as their starter. But Lowrie, who will spend time at shortstop starting this week, has a chance to be the starter at second base where he’s in competition with Scott Sizemore, Jemile Weeks, Adam Rosales and perhaps Eric Sogard.
Young doesn’t appear to have as great a chance to become a starter, unless it’s as the DH or unless he and Crisp split time between center and DH.
That’s a bit of a comedown, but so was the 2012 season, when Young saw his power production of 14 homers and 41 RBIs fall to half of his production of 2010 (27 and 91) when he was an All-Star for Arizona.
“That will be hard,’’ Melvin said of Young not just playing in left and right in games but in working out in both positions this spring. “There is pride involved. The days he’ll get in center will be the days Coco has off.’’