Hiro Nakajima at second base?
Nakajima, the 30-year-old veteran of 11 Japanese League seasons who is supposed to be the A's answer at shortstop, signed for two years at $6.5 million. So far he is the question mark.
As in, can he play? Is he locked in at shortstop?
The A's have at least six players in the mix at second base, and Nakajima could jump - or be pushed - into that dogpile. It's not a stretch to imagine the A's giving Nakajima some action at second, for a change of scenery if nothing else.
Nakajima is batting .194 (6-for-31).
There is a terrific battle at second, and most of the candidates can also play shortstop and third base. Put yourself in manager Bob Melvin's shoes. If the season opens today, how do you keep Jed Lowrie, Eric Sogard or Adam Rosales out of the lineup and keep Nakajima in?
Nakajima said he has played very little second base. Would he give it a try if asked? "Yes."
He also said he's not feeling pressure, that his swing is coming around, and that his on-field communication with teammates is improving.
There's no indication that the patient Melvin is cooling on Nakajima.
"It's been a tough time for him," Melvin said, "whether it's been the whole culture shock, being with a new team playing in a different league, all these things can play into it, and each guy takes that at his own speed."
Melvin, a good communicator, checks in regularly with Nakajima.


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