Norris keeps hitting, but role unlikely to change

Norris keeps hitting, but role unlikely to change

ARLINGTON -- Derek Norris received his second straight start behind the plate against the Rangers on Wednesday and is expected to be there again Saturday in Boston.

That's because the A's are facing left-handed starters on those days.

Manager Bob Melvin isn't ready to stray from a platoon at catcher, even though Norris is swinging a hot bat. The catcher entered the day batting .481 (13-for-27) over his last nine games, and his .365 season average is the best in the American League among batters with 50 or more plate appearances.

" He's been terrific, he really has, from the beginning of the season until now," said Melvin. "We do it a certain way here, but he's doing very well. The better you do, the more reps you end up getting."

For now, John Jaso will continue starting against most right-handers, while Norris remains prepared in a part-time role. Jaso is hitting .232 but .250 against right-handers this year.

"The most important thing is try to find the barrel and not try to do too much it," said Norris. "I'm always striving to get better as a ballplayer, and whatever that is, whether it's facing lefties or coming in to pinch-hit, staying mentally prepared and staying mentally strong is the biggest thing for me."

Jane Lee is a reporter for 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.