ARLINGTON -- Nearly every position player on the A's roster can handle more than one spot on the field, a trend that extends to the organization's Minor League affiliates.
Notably, the A's are diversifying the skill sets of infielders Jemile Weeks and Hiro Nakajima at Triple-A Sacramento.
Weeks, a natural second baseman whose status in the organization has quickly soured since his 2012 demotion, is learning to play shortstop to improve his chances of another callup, a decision manager Bob Melvin said was the infielder's idea.
"I talked to Sacramento manager Steve Scarsone, and he said he's very playable there," Melvin said. "He wanted to do it, based on the needs at the time. Like anybody, if you can play different positions, that gives you more chances to get here, whether it's at second or shortstop or in a utility role. Second base is his position, but playing another one gives you other opportunities."
Entering the day, Weeks was hitting .285 with two home runs and 16 RBIs for Sacramento. Offense, though, seemingly hasn't been as much of a concern for the organization as his defense has. Still, Melvin insists that whenever the club has a roster move to make, Weeks' name "always comes up."
"His time could come again at some point, you never know -- whether it's injuries, whether it's performance, us mixing things up here," he said. "You saw how dynamic he could be when he's playing well. So his name comes up every time."
Nakajima, meanwhile, served as Weeks' double-play partner at second base on Monday night. On Tuesday, he started at third for the River Cats. And Wednesday will mark the final day of Nakajima's 20-day rehab assignment, meaning the A's will have to decide whether to add him to the big league roster or option him to Sacramento on Thursday.
The former choice is expected, but with Jed Lowrie entrenched at shortstop in Oakland, Melvin said, "What the decision is, I don't know as of right now."
Nakajima is batting .250 with a .313 on-base percentage through 11 games with Sacramento, and Melvin said reports indicate that he has progressed defensively, as well.
"His position is shortstop, that's what it's been his whole career, but he's open to playing other positions too," he said. "He's a hard-working guy. It keeps a lot of options open."