Tyler Ladendorf got the promotion to the big leagues Friday with Danny Valencia going on the disabledlist.
Tyler Ladendorf never thought he’d be in the big leagues this week. If he had, he’d have brought his passport with him on Nashville’s road trip to Colorado Springs. Instead of flying straight from Colorado to Toronto, Ladendorf had to fly back to Nashville last Thursday, then make the jump from Nashville to Toronto Friday morning.
He’s being called up to take the roster spot that had been Danny Valencia’s. Valencia suffered a left hamstring injury that put him on the disabled list. The A’s, needing another infielder, tabbed Ladendorf.
He joined the A’s having played just two games in the infield for Nashville, both of them at shortstop. But he’s played second, third and short in the past, and he seems equally at home in the infield or outfield.
“I feel like I fit in pretty good here,’’ Ladendorf said. “I was playing primarily center, but just before game time, I would take grounders in the infield. I wanted to make sure I was covered if I came here. I wanted to be sure I would be ready.’’
Of that, manager Bob Melvin has no doubt.
“He gives us the type of versatility we need,’’ Melvin said. “He can play, and play defense as well as he can at all the positions. It’s obviously nice to have him.’’
While Ladendorf said his mother, Linda, would be here Saturday and Sunday, coming in from her Illinois home, Valencia flew back to the Bay Area early Friday.
He was due to have an MRI on his left hamstring, but the A’s aren’t expecting to know much on his status until at least Saturday, but Valencia said Friday night he expected to miss only the minimum, 15 days.
Valencia was disappointed to miss the series, because he said he enjoyed playing in Toronto and the people and the city in 2014 and 2015 before the trade.
–Ex-A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson isn’t off to the kind of mercurial start he had this point last year, .364, but he has six homers and 15 RBI to go with a .284 average, better than the three homers and 11 RBI at this point a year ago.
It’s early in the season and he’s looking forward to facing his old A’s team for whom he will always have a fondness.
“It’s fun. I get to go out there today and face Sonny Gray, who’s a pretty good pitcher,’’ Donaldson said. “I loved Oakland. We had a bunch of really good teams over there. Most important, we had a really great group of guys. We really bonded over there. Ten years from now I’ll still think my time over there was pretty special.’’
Donaldson was an internet darling Thursday, or at least his glove was. He went to catch a line drive in Baltimore, got the ball in the webbing of his glove, and saw the laces of the webbing give way as if he had an actual hole in his glove
“I’ve never had that before,’’ he said. “I’ve been breaking my glove in by putting it in the sauna, and I think the sauna fried one of my laces. It was terrible, because he ended up scoring on a very weird play.’’
–With Valencia on the DL, Jed Lowrie has made two starts as the cleanup hitter. Melvin used him there 21 times in the 2013 season. “Jed is a chameleon as far as being in the lineup,’’ the manager said. “He can hit anywhere. He doesn’t change his approach. He doesn’t put added pressure on himself. He doesn’t try to hit to the slot we put him in. So it’s easy to move Jed around. We’ve hit him every spot in the lineup one through eight since he’s been here.’’
–Pat Venditte, who was a media darling around baseball when he broke in as baseball’s first full-time switch pitcher last year, says he’s gone through something of the same media scrutiny, “but it goes away after a week.’’ He’s tweaked his deliveries some, but says he’s basically the same pitch he was with the A’s.
–Chris Colabello, the Jays; first baseman, was slapped with an 80-game suspension on Friday, leaving first in the hands of switch-hitter Justin Smoak for the most part. And the Jays have altered their pitching and will call up Drew Hutchison, who was their opening day starter a year ago, from Triple-A to start the final game of the series Sunday.