Sogard, Rosales making second-base decision difficult

Sogard, Rosales making second-base decision difficult

PHOENIX -- Eric Sogard knows the road from Oakland to Sacramento well, having traversed it many times between intermittent stints in the big leagues and Triple-A over the last three years.

Sogard obviously would like to remain in one place for some time, and he's doing everything he can this spring to make that a possibility. He went 4-for-4 on Sunday and is now batting .500 with six extra-base hits through 15 games.

It goes without saying that manager Bob Melvin likes what he's seeing from the versatile infielder, but at the same time, such production is only making his decision about an everyday second baseman an even more difficult one.

Sogard has forced himself into the discussion alongside Jemile Weeks, Scott Sizemore, Adam Rosales and Andy Parrino. Jed Lowrie, too, is making a strong case to be the go-to guy, despite the A's initial thinking that he would play all over the infield.

"We've played Sogard all around, and he's having another good spring, swinging the bat well," Melvin said. "He's definitely in the conversation."

Sogard is remaining optimistic about making the team, whether in a starting or a bench role, but he is very realistic, too.

"I don't think I'm the front-runner in that race, anyway, so it's my job to make the decision a tough one," he said Sunday. "Last year my goal was just to make the team out of spring. I had to go into spring, play hard every day, and I was successful with that. I'm trying to do the same this year."

So is Rosales, who hit two home runs off the bench on Sunday. Like Sogard, the 29-year-old Rosales made the team out of camp last year but didn't enjoy a permanent residency for more than a month at a time, as he was sent down and called back up on two occasions.

Rosales is batting .364 after Sunday, Parrino .400 and Lowrie .333. Weeks (.421) is swinging the bat well, too, but he is two weeks behind after missing time because of a shoulder injury. Then there's Sizemore, who is hitting just .172 but showing signs of progression after missing all of 2012.

That's six guys fighting for a job that will be on display in regular-season action in just 15 days.

"It's still a work in progress," Melvin said. "Some other guys are doing well and making it tougher to actually narrow it down. There's a good chance it plays out all the way to the end."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.