A day of firsts goes well for Callaspo on the A’s infield

Alberto Callaspo is wearing a new glove for A's these days

Alberto Callaspo is wearing a new glove for A’s these days

Alberto Callaspo is just 5-foot-9, about a foot shorter than Oakland’s tallest first baseman, Nate Freiman.

The A’s reminded him of that Friday.

When they took the field for drills, there was a bucket of baseballs, about two feet deep, with a Callaspo jersey wrapped around it.

Callaspo smiled, then went about his day, which included for the first time in his life playing five innings at first base. He caught five throws, none of them with difficulty.

“It was easy today, let’s see what happens,’’ he said, acknowledging that it will get more difficult as he warms to the new position.

Because Callaspo presents a much different target than the run-of-the-mill first baseman, A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson said “ the infielders are going to have to keep our throws down.’’

    Or as Jed Lowrie said, if you are going to miss, “miss low.’’

At the same time, Callaspo has the hands of a good veteran infielder, so he should catch much of what’s thrown to him. He’s just has a little of the fish-out-of-water thing going on.

“It kind of like surprised me when they asked me,’’ Callaspo said. “But I just want to play anywhere they need me.

For the moment, that includes competing for the starting job at second base, backing up Donaldson at third base and, perhaps, being the right-handed alternative at first base opposite lefties Brandon Moss and Daric Barton.

He’s been working on the back fields at Phoenix Muni daily, including working with infield coach Mike Gallego and Scott Hatteberg, who made the transition from catching to first base a decade ago, a move chronicled in the book and movie “Moneyball.’’

“The footwork, it will come to me,’’ Callaspo said. “I think I’ll be OK there.’’

He’ll be better once he gets his own glove. For the moment, Callaspo, who has “never owned a first baseman’s glove,’’ is using one belonging to Barton.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.