Programming note: Mets-A’s coverage starts today at 12 p.m. with A’s Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California; chat with Insider Joe Stiglich during innings 2-4
OAKLAND – One wonders if Josh Donaldson even knows what to do with himself on days such as Wednesday.
He is out of the starting lineup for the first time since the All-Star break, and A’s manager Bob Melvin said it was time to give his All-Star third baseman a rest.
“He’s a guy that’s been out there the most,” Melvin said before Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets. “He’s a little bit tired right now, and with a day game and an off-day tomorrow, hopefully we can combat that. It doesn’t mean he’s not an in-game option (today). For a guy that’s played as much as he has, we try to target (his rest) close to an off-day and try to give him two days.”
Donaldson has been an interesting case as the A’s have tried to grind through a rough stretch offensively. He’s hitting .290 since the All-Star break but is just 2-for-18 over his last five games. And though Donaldson is tied for fifth in the American League with 84 RBI, he hasn’t driven in a run over his last six games. He has just six RBI over his last 14 contests, and all six of those were crammed into two games.
Melvin was asked if Donaldson might be pressing a bit with guys in scoring position.
“That’s probably fair to say with everybody,” Melvin said. “When you go through offensive droughts, the guys you really rely on try to be those guys (who step up). We do feel like we have a balanced roster and we don’t need to rely on one particular guy. But when you’re hitting third and you’re a guy that’s driven in the most runs on the team, that’s kinda the pressure you put on yourself.
“Is he trying to do too much, trying to do too much for his team? Maybe a little bit. But we still feel good when he’s up in big situations.”
Notes: Catcher Derek Norris, dealing with back soreness, is out of the lineup as Melvin said he would be. The hope is with Thursday’s day off, Norris will be ready for this weekend’s showdown series with the Los Angeles Angels. But Melvin didn’t rule Norris out as an in-game option Wednesday.