Donaldson looking to fill third-base vacancy

Donaldson looking to fill third-base vacancy

Donaldson looking to fill third-base vacancy
PHOENIX -- While Josh Donaldson sat in the A's clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon resting from a lengthy day of workouts at third base, A's general manager Billy Beane stood not too far away, reiterating that the club will indeed give Donaldson every chance to win the open job at the hot corner in Scott Sizemore's absence.

"He came up as a third baseman, and we spoke in a bit of irony during our Spring Training meetings, talking about his third-base play, not realizing we would need it," Beane said. "When I heard about Scott, we kind of had a feeling pretty quickly it wasn't good. We're kind of excited to see how Josh does, because we've always thought highly of him. All reports on his defense were good, even leading up to this."

The A's only expect it to get better. Donaldson is working extensively at the position with infield coach Mike Gallego, both during normal workout hours and outside of that time. He's expected to see his first game action of the spring there Friday, when the A's open their Cactus League schedule against the Mariners.

Should the A's feel the need to look for extra help by Opening Day, it appears they'll stay away from the free-agent market and, instead, target trade possibilities. Some intriguing names that might pop up include the Angels' Alberto Callaspo and Detroit's Brandon Inge.

But Donaldson remains at the top of the list -- at least for now -- in the wake of Sizemore's season-ending ACL injury.

"I feel terrible for him," Beane said of Sizemore. "He had finally gotten a chance to play every day in the Major Leagues, and we really thought this was the chance for him to break out. From a team standpoint, this was the last thing we were thinking about. We felt more than comfortable with Scott being over there, so to start over is a little bit of a downer."