Rosales raring to contribute in platoon role

Rosales raring to contribute in platoon role

OAKLAND -- A's infielder Adam Rosales was in the lineup at second base Friday night against Baltimore for just the second time in a 10-game stretch.

That's life as a platoon player -- Rosales plays second against left-handers with Cliff Pennington facing right-handers -- but after what Rosales has been through, he's not complaining, especially with the A's in the middle of a playoff race.

Rosales suffered a season-ending stress fracture of his right ankle in August 2010 and started the 2011 season on the 60-day disabled list while he continued his rehabilitation. He played just 24 games for the A's last year, hitting .098. This year he's been sent down to Triple-A Sacramento twice and was recalled Aug. 2 for his third stint with the A's.

"Over the last few years there's been a lot of up and down for me, but this season there's only one thing to focus on and that's the ultimate goal -- to get into the playoffs and go to the World Series," Rosales said. "I've never felt this way before in the big leagues. I've been with the Reds in '08 and '09 and here in '10, '11 and '12, but it's a different feeling for sure, in the clubhouse, on the field, just guys picking each other up, just everybody rooting everybody on. It's a really good feeling right now."

Rosales, who entered Friday night's game hitting .221 with two home runs and 8 RBIs, can play any spot in the infield and has seen occasional duty in the outfield. He said he prefers either of the middle-infield spots. He has zero errors at second in 69 career games, including 63 with the A's. That's the third longest errorless streak by a second baseman in Oakland history.

"I like the middle infield," Rosales said. "It doesn't really matter [which position]. I just like doing the double plays, cutoffs, relays. There's a lot more responsibility in the middle infield, a lot more action. I like that, though. I like to take on that challenge every day. You definitely got to be focused and concentrated out there every pitch, every out. It's good."