SAN FRANCISCO -- Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Saturday it is "very likely" that shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will start the season on the disabled list as he recovers from a hamstring strain, but the team will evaluate the situation on Sunday.
If Nakajima joins fellow infielder Adam Rosales on the DL, utility man Andy Parrino could be a logical option to make the A's Opening Day roster. Parrino has quietly posted a .378 batting average in 37 spring at-bats, but his glove is perhaps his most valuable asset.
"He's a good player," Melvin said. "A guy that can play anywhere in the infield, switch-hits, and he can play the outfield as well. When you talk about versatility, he's a guy that brings you a lot of versatility."
At the moment, Parrino appears to be fighting with first baseman Nate Freiman and second baseman Scott Sizemore for a single spot on the A's bench. The 27-year-old Parrino was acquired as part of the deal that sent Tyson Ross to the Padres this offseason.
"All spring it's been a battle between all the guys in the middle," Parrino said. "It's the only way to go about it, really. I think the front office and the manager like the competition between all of us, and I think it's going to come down to the last day."
Nakajima, 30, arrived in Oakland from Japan with considerable fanfare after signing a two-year deal in December. But he's had trouble acclimating to the Major League game so far, posting a .156 average and one RBI in 42 Cactus League at-bats, while also struggling in the field.
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.