A's notes: Donaldson thankful for fan support

A's notes: Donaldson thankful for fan support
June 11, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Josh Donaldson is now fifth in voting for AL third baseman with 355,693 votes. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

OAKLAND -- Three times last season Josh Donaldson was demoted to Triple-A Sacramento. And each time he returned to the A's.

So after he was not even mentioned in the first returns for American League third basemen in fan balloting last week, you didn't think he was going to sulk and slink away, did you?

Saturday night, Donaldson moved into the Top 5 in the vote, fifth in the second returns with 355,693 votes.

"It's definitely an honor to even be mentioned for an All-Star Game," Donaldson said Tuesday, before the A's series opener against the New York Yankees. "I just think it shows you how great our fan base is. They definitely feel that I deserve it and they're going out there and doing what they have to do to try to get me a little bit of notoriety. Especially from the fans, that means a lot."

Reigning triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera is the runaway leader, with more than 2.3 million votes, and Baltimore's Manny Machado (1,170,108), Texas' Adrian Beltre (845,540) and Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria (657,056) round out the top four.

But when it comes to the stats among A.L. third basemen, Donaldson is second to Cabrera in batting average (.324), RBI (42) on-base percentage (.393) OPS (.914). Donaldson's nine home runs were tied for fifth.

"He should be in the All-Star conversation," said A's manager Bob Melvin.

"Think of how far he's come from being a guy who was sent up and down (to the minor leagues)? He's a hard-working kid who's very driven."

So with the MIdsummer Classic still more than a month away, how does Donaldson stay focused and not get distracted by the All-Star talk?

"I don't get, really, too far in depth in anything about it," he said. "I'm not out there trying to make an All-Star team; I'm out there trying to help my team win games. And as long as my mindset stays in that area, I think I'll be fine."

***

While Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig has set the baseball world on its ear with his first week in the majors -- .500 batting average, four him runs, including a grand slam, 10 RBI, and an absolute cannon for an arm -- his Cuban countryman Yoenis Cespedes is not all that surprised by Puig's early success.

"I knew of him in Cuba," Cespedes said in Spanish. "He was a good ballplayer. I knew once he was put in the right situation, he'd do well.

***

Cespedes, meanwhile, is in the midst of an audition, of sorts, against New York, because while Cespedes wants to perform in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star break, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has been named a captain. And as a captain, Cano gets to choose his HR Derby team.

So, what does Cano think about Cespedes' chances of making his squad?

"I can't think anything because I have to wait to make a decision," Cano said in Spanish. "I can't tell you, yes, no, or what I'm going to do yet. I'll have to see."

A big series from Cespedes should alter his thinking, no?

***

The A's enjoyed a needed day off Monday, after a run of 17 games in 17 days.

In that span, Oakland went 13-4, losing the last two in Chicago to the White Sox, and outscored opponents by a combined 84-52, while compiling a team batting average of .263 and a team ERA of 2.95.

And before Sunday, the A's had last lost back-to-back games on May 14 and 15. The A's have had a five-game losing streak and a pair of four-gamers.

***

While multiple reports had the A's agreeing to terms with first-round draft choice Billy McKinney, Oakland had yet to announce such a signing. Instead, the team announced it had agreed to terms with 25 players from the draft --left-handed pitcher Chris Kohler (supplemental after 3rd round, Los Osos HS), right-handed pitcher Dylan Covey (4th round, San Diego), outfielder Tyler Marincov (8th, North Florida), left-handed pitcher Matt Stalcup (9th, Pittsburg State), left-handed pitcher Jerad Grundy (10th, Kentucky), right-handed pitcher Louis Trivino (11th, Slippery Rock), right-handed pitcher Dakota Freese (12th, Des Moines Area CC), outfielder Justin Higley (13th, Cal State Sacramento), right-handed pitcher Junior Mendez (16th, Southern New Hampshire), outfielder Jaycob Brugman (17th, Brigham Young), right-handed pitcher Samuel Bragg (18th, Georgia Perimeter College), center fielder Scott Masik (21st, Cal State Los Angeles), right-handed pitcher Trevor Bayless (22nd, San Diego), catcher Josh Miller (23rd, South Carolina-Aiken), right-handed pitcher Kevin Johnson (24th, Illinois), right-handed pitcher Jonathan Massad (25th, Southern New Hampshire), catcher Kyle Wheeler (26th, Belhaven), first baseman Ryan Huck (27th, Western Kentucky), second baseman Joseph Bennie (28th, East Stroudsburg), right-handed pitcher Blake McMullen (29th, Science & Arts of Oklahoma), center fielder Benjamin McQuown (30th, Campbell), right-handed pitcher A.J. Burke (31st, Western Oregon State), right-handed pitcher Dominique Vattuone (32nd, UNC-Greensboro), right-handed pitcher Joseph Michaud (33rd, Bryant), third baseman Austin Kubala (34th, Arlington County Day School).

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