5/22/2013 12:56 A.M. ET
Weeks, Nakajima showing versatility in Minors
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Nearly every position player on the A's roster can handle more than one spot on the field, a trend that extends to the organization's Minor League affiliates.
Notably, the A's are diversifying the skill sets of infielders Jemile Weeks and Hiro Nakajima at Triple-A Sacramento.
Weeks, a natural second baseman whose status in the organization has quickly soured since his 2012 demotion, is learning to play shortstop to improve his chances of another callup, a decision manager Bob Melvin said was the infielder's idea.
"I talked to Sacramento manager Steve Scarsone, and he said he's very playable there," Melvin said. "He wanted to do it, based on the needs at the time. Like anybody, if you can play different positions, that gives you more chances to get here, whether it's at second or shortstop or in a utility role. Second base is his position, but playing another one gives you other opportunities."
Entering the day, Weeks was hitting .285 with two home runs and 16 RBIs for Sacramento. Offense, though, seemingly hasn't been as much of a concern for the organization as his defense has. Still, Melvin insists that whenever the club has a roster move to make, Weeks' name "always comes up."
"His time could come again at some point, you never know -- whether it's injuries, whether it's performance, us mixing things up here," he said. "You saw how dynamic he could be when he's playing well. So his name comes up every time."
Nakajima, meanwhile, served as Weeks' double-play partner at second base on Monday night. On Tuesday, he started at third for the River Cats. And Wednesday will mark the final day of Nakajima's 20-day rehab assignment, meaning the A's will have to decide whether to add him to the big league roster or option him to Sacramento on Thursday.
The former choice is expected, but with Jed Lowrie entrenched at shortstop in Oakland, Melvin said, "What the decision is, I don't know as of right now."
Nakajima is batting .250 with a .313 on-base percentage through 11 games with Sacramento, and Melvin said reports indicate that he has progressed defensively, as well.
"His position is shortstop, that's what it's been his whole career, but he's open to playing other positions too," he said. "He's a hard-working guy. It keeps a lot of options open."
Lowrie day to day after foot X-rays negative
ARLINGTON -- A's shortstop Jed Lowrie, acting as designated hitter on Tuesday night in Texas, took a pitch off his right foot in the fifth inning and was out of the game by the seventh to go for an X-ray.
Tests showed no break in Lowrie's foot, leaving the infielder day to day with a right foot contusion.
Manager Bob Melvin said after the game that Lowrie, who went 1-for-2 before departing, was "pretty sore" and would not be in the starting lineup for Wednesday's matinee.
Melvin gives Crisp breather vs. Rangers
ARLINGTON -- There's no denying the impact of Coco Crisp on the A's lineup when healthy. That's why manager Bob Melvin wants to keep him that way.
Melvin rested Crisp on Tuesday -- despite the outfielder entering the day 3-for-6 against Rangers starter Yu Darvish -- in an effort to keep the injury-plagued veteran off the disabled list.
That's where Crisp was with a strained hamstring up until last Wednesday. He started each of the five games that followed, with Monday's performance resulting in three hits, a walk and a stolen base.
"He ran around a lot last night," Melvin said. "I have to keep him healthy. He wants to play, but he doesn't fight it. He understands."
With the A's scheduled for one more game against the Rangers on Wednesday, before enjoying an off-day Thursday, Crisp will get two out of three days off, "and we feel like that's the right thing to do," said Melvin.
"He does have an injury history because of how hard he plays," Melvin continued, "so it's our job to try to combat that."
Barton clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A
ARLINGTON -- Daric Barton remains Oakland's longest-tenured player in the organization, after clearing waivers and being outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Barton, originally acquired by the A's in the 2004 Mark Mulder trade, was designated for assignment by the club on Friday after an eight-game stint in the big leagues. He went 3-for-21 with a home run and three RBIs in that time.
That led to the possibility of the first baseman getting a change of scenery with a different ballclub, but since no team claimed him on waivers, the A's opted to retain his services, rather than release him.
"For us," manager Bob Melvin said, "there's value there based on the fact that we don't have a lot of depth at the position.
"The defense stands out. If something were to happen to [Brandon] Moss, we're limited in what we have in the organization at first base."
Former reliever Mecir to represent A's at Draft
ARLINGTON -- Jim Mecir, a prominent member of the A's bullpen during the club's playoff run at the start of the decade, will represent the A's when they make the 24th overall pick at the First-Year Player Draft next month.
Traded by Tampa Bay with Todd Belitz to the A's for Jesus Colome right before the Trade Deadline in 2000, the right-hander pitched in Oakland through the '04 season.
Now retired, the 43-year-old Mecir will be sitting at the A's Draft table and will phone in each of the organization's picks. The former hurler will be among many baseball luminaries present in Secaucus, N.J., as each team has tabbed at least one significant player from its past to sit at its Draft table.
Commissioner Bud Selig will announce all of the first-round picks, and for teams with sandwich picks -- like Oakland, which owns the 34th and 47th selections -- the club rep will announce those.
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 3 p.m. PT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 4 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 9:30 a.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at 10 a.m.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.