Coming into the 2014 season, Oakland Athletics infielder Alberto Callaspo has proved his versatility throughout his career, playing every position but first base, center field, catcher and pitcher since coming up to The Show with the Diamondbacks in 2006.
Get ready to scratch another position off that list.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that the switch-hitting Callaspo will play first base against left-handers, with Daric Barton and Brandon Moss getting the bulk of the playing time when Oakland faces right-handed pitching.
CSNBayArea.com reported the announcement on Tuesday.
Callaspo had never played first base before coming to camp this spring, but after working with infield coach Mike Gallego, the A’s are comfortable enough with the 30-year-old at the position to pencil him in as part of a platoon.
Callaspo came over from the Angels for infielder Grant Green last July and played mostly second base down the stretch for the A’s, hitting .270/.350/.409 in 50 games after the trade, with 20 runs, seven doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI.
He went 1-for-6 with a double in the ALCS loss to Detroit, playing in four of the five games in the series.
Learning a new position didn’t hurt his hitting this spring. In 16 Cactus League games, Callaspo is hitting .349/.417/.395 with nine runs, two doubles and four RBI.
He was originally signed out of Venezuela as an international free agent by the Angels in 2001 and made his big-league debut with Arizona in 2006 after being traded to the D-backs in spring training. He has also spent time with the Royals and Angels before coming to Oakland last year.
He handles the bat well, ranking as the second-most difficult hitter to strike out last season in the American League, averaging a strikeout every 9.6 at bats.