Rosales fell on his left shoulder during a series of running drills and has since been limited to baseball activity. However, Melvin was set to play him on defense only in Monday's game against the Angels in Phoenix and, barring any further setbacks, he should be able to get enough at-bats this spring to still be considered for a bench spot on the club's Opening Day roster.
"It's getting better," Rosales said. "It's just a little frustrating because I've been itching to get out there."
Melvin is hopeful Rosales can avoid a spring similar to the one he endured last year, when he was on the mend from foot surgery. He began the season on the disabled list and never found a groove at the plate once being reinstated in June, ultimately hitting just .098 in 24 games over three stints with the A's. Much of those struggles, Melvin believes, stemmed from Rosales' inability to get the needed spring at-bats.
"[Utility players] are no more ready during the course of the season to play than when they come out of spring," he said. "Last year that wasn't the case for Rosales, and it set him back, and I think, to an extent, it affected his whole season."
Rosales is considered a strong possibility to break camp on the roster, but the A's also like the versatility Eric Sogard brings to the club. Sogard, who can play all over the infield, represents something of a dark horse for the third-base job should Josh Donaldson fail to win it. Should Melvin go that way, Donaldson could make the team as a utility guy over Rosales because of his ability to catch, too.