6/11/2014 9:41 P.M. ET
Melvin gives Donaldson a 'mental rest'
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Struggling third baseman Josh Donaldson was not in the A's lineup Wednesday -- just the second non-start of the season for the American League's leading All-Star vote-getter at his position.
"I didn't go and ask for a day, but I'll take one for sure," said Donaldson, who's hitless in his past 21 at-bats, and made four throwing errors the past two games. "But, I'll be back in there tomorrow."
Reminded Thursday is an off-day, Donaldson said: "It's a bonus. Two days off."
Alberto Callaspo started at third base.
"Over the course of the season, you're going to get a couple days off," manager Bob Melvin said. "With the day off tomorrow [before the A's play the Yankees in Oakland over the weekend], it made sense today."
Melvin called it "mental rest" for Donaldson, and said he would be available off the bench if needed against the Angels.
Asked if the weekend of confrontations with the Orioles' Manny Machado might have contributed to Donaldson's slump, Melvin said: "I don't think so. He's a pretty strong-minded guy. He's just having a tough time of it right now."
Moss wants to contribute wherever it helps A's win
ANAHEIM -- Brandon Moss, with three outfield assists in his past five games, started at first base on Wednesday against the Angels.
"It's one of the things with me that makes me valuable to the team: playing first base and the outfield," Moss said, when asked if he felt his arm was under-used at first.
"I just throw to the base I'm supposed to," Moss said. "I know I have a strong throwing arm. But I'm not a guy who's going to go out there and dare a guy to run."
He threw out the Orioles' Nick Markakis at the plate Friday, the Angels' Erick Aybar at third base Monday and got Albert Pujols at home Tuesday.
Asked if that's as much fun as hitting a three-run homer or a grand slam (he has two of those this year), Moss said: "I enjoy it, but it's more important for me to hit a three-run homer. If I hit a three-run homer last night (in the A's 14-inning, 2-1 loss), we would've won."
Moss leads the A's with 16 homers and 53 RBIs. This was his 36th start at first; he's started 12 games in left field, nine in right, and six as the DH.
A's outfielders have 12 assists in the past 18 games.
• A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who moved into Josh Donaldson's No. 3 spot in the order on Wednesday, was quite candid when asked about his highlight-reel throw that got Howie Kendrick at the plate in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
"When I let it go, I didn't know it would wind up at home plate," Cespedes said, through interpreter and teammate Dan Otero.
• The A's will be without Alberto Callaspo during the Yankees series. He's taking paternity leave for the birth of his second child.
• Manager Bob Melvin said outfielder Josh Reddick (hyper-extended right knee) played catch Tuesday. He's on the disabled list, and not on the trip.
"The whole timetable called for baseball activity when we got home," Melvin said. "We'll see how he is when we get home."
Reddick went on the DL June 1.
• Private memorial services for former A's right-hander Bob Welch will be held Saturday at the Grayhawk Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to Major League Baseball's RBI Program at MLB Charities.
• A's left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty, coming off Tommy John surgery, pitched a perfect rehab inning Wednesday for Triple-A Sacramento against Omaha. He threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.