{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Donaldson demoted to make room for Hughes

Donaldson demoted to make room for Hughes

|
Donaldson demoted to make room for Hughes
OAKLAND -- A four-hour delayed flight couldn't keep the A's newest member out of the starting lineup, as Luke Hughes was immediately given the nod at third base upon his arrival Monday.

With Hughes on board, the A's decided to demote a struggling Josh Donaldson to Triple-A Sacramento, where he's expected to continue work at third base while also seeing time behind the plate at his natural position of catcher.

"It wasn't for a lack of effort, and he really did handle himself beautifully defensively," manager Bob Melvin said. "I know he would have liked to have swung the bat better, but at the big league level, to an extent, you have to produce. I don't feel great about the fact he's going down right now, but hopefully this isn't the last time we've seen him because he's a good athlete and has a lot of ability."

In 32 at-bats spanning nine games with the A's, Donaldson managed three hits for a .094 average. His lack of production led to more playing time for Eric Sogard and influenced the club to look outside of the organization for help.

"It's unfortunate that Josh has to go down right now," Melvin said. "We got to a point where I think he's grinding pretty hard, and he probably needs a bit of a break here. He worked very hard this spring, really every day to try to combat the fact he wasn't a natural third baseman.

"We still have high hopes for him. Just because he's not here right now doesn't mean he's not here at some other point in time. Hopefully he can get over this and go down there and continue to work as hard as he has, have some success."

Hughes' numbers aren't overwhelming, with a career .224 average, but the A's are hoping he brings consistency to a position that's been unsettled since Scott Sizemore endured a season-ending knee injury at the beginning of camp.

Melvin said he anticipates playing the versatile Hughes at third on a regular basis, with Sogard still in the mix while also spelling the middle-infield duo of Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington -- the only A's players who have yet to take a day off this season -- from time to time.

"From what I understand, [Hughes] is a scrappy player, a guy who likes to play," Melvin said. "We'll get him out there and get him in the fire right away."

Hughes gives the A's three Aussies, which represents a Major League record. There are only two other Australian natives in the Majors.

"It's pretty great," said reliever Rich Thompson, who grew up playing youth baseball with Hughes and was also introduced to fellow Sydney native Grant Balfour at a young age. "I love it here already."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español