Susan Slusser: A's Hoping Prospect Wins Job At Third Base

Saturday, A's third baseman Scott Sizemore went down with a knee injury. Monday, everyone's worst fears were confirmed: Sizemore's out for the entire season with a torn ACL. Worse (for the A's), there's not an obviously suitable replacement at hand. Somebody does have to play the position, though. Susan Slusser:

It’s a catcher, Josh Donaldson, who is going to get the first real look at filling in for Sizemore. The team finds Donaldson intriguing after he played at third the final month of last season at Sacramento and then full time in winter ball in the Dominican.

One team official I spoke to this evening told me the Sizemore news "makes me want to vomit," but the flip side, he said, is that Donaldson might wind up being a great story. The team not only likes the fact that he took it upon himself to go to the Dominican to play third, but that he also has improved his defensive metrics there enough to be considered for a big-league spot. They believe, too, that he will hit better when out from behind the plate.

The A’s also like the fact that Donaldson has boldly stated that he’s in camp to win a job. "I’m hungry," he’s said repeatedly.

As I wrote Monday night, Donaldson's minor-league statistics don't suggest he's quite ready to hit in the majors. And there's just no telling if he can handle the strain of playing third base every day for a few months. But apparently he's worth watching. According to Slusser, the A's also have some interest in the Angels' Alberto Callaspo, who's without a position until/unless the club gives up on Mark Trumbo as a third baseman. Most interesting of all, the A's might wind up looking at a weak group of (still) free-agent third basemen ... led by ex-Athletics superstar Miguel Tejada.

Hey, what's Royce Clayton's phone number again?

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