PHOENIX -- No one in baseball has compiled as many innings this spring as Josh Donaldson, who is soaking in plenty of time in the infield, while making his case for the starting third-base job.
Donaldson entered Friday with 85 innings to his name and, by day's end, surpassed the 90-innings mark, following his 13th start of the spring. The Braves' Tyler Pastornicky is the next closest, at 70 innings.
This is the A's way of giving Donaldson every opportunity to break camp as the everyday guy at the hot corner, and so far manager Bob Melvin is satisfied with how he's responded -- despite making three errors.
"He's been resilient at third," Melvin said. "This is a lot being thrown at him. He's playing at a new position, he's got a chance to be the starting third baseman. There's a lot coming his way right now, so we're going to be patient with him. Nothing that he has done at this point has made us say, 'We gotta scrap him.' We are still behind him, and we are still gonna run him out there."
At this point, it appears Donaldson will still be there come Opening Day, though the red-hot Eric Sogard is considered a possibility, as is a trade for another third baseman by season's start. But for now, all eyes are on Donaldson, who has 10 hits in 42 at-bats along with four walks.
"I think that you look at the offensive numbers, you see his at-bats are getting better," Melvin said. "He went through a period where his at-bats were good early, and he didn't get much to show for it and went into a bit of a lull. But now his swings are better. He's not getting out front as much."