Scott Sizemore was supposed to be Oakland's starting third baseman last year. Instead, he had to sit and watch as the A's had one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history without him.
Sizemore tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on the first day of spring training last year and missed the entire season. This year, he is back, fully healthy -- and now locked in a battle for the second base job.
On Sunday, he played in the field in a game for the first time in more than a year, and he made a diving play at second base -- no sweat.
"It felt really good," he said. "It was just good to get out there in different situations, run around different places, different responsibilities. ... It felt good to be in the field for the first time in a long time."
Josh Donaldson now holds down third base after coming on strong the final month of last year as the A's made their playoff push, so Sizemore is battling former A's second baseman Jemile Weeks at second base. Both A's shortstops, Hiro Nakajima and Jed Lowrie, also can play second base, a potential complicating factor. In the battle for infield jobs.
Weeks is known for his terrific springs, too: He hit over .400 in 2011 and .339 with three homers last spring. Manager Bob Melvin has said that with a head-to-head battle, spring stats will be a major factor -- but Weeks has an option left, which is another consideration, along with the fact that Sizemore can play third, providing more versatility.
In his last major league season, 2011, Sizemore hit a combined .245 with a .342 on-base percentage, a .399 slugging percentage, 11 homers and 56 RBI in 110 games with the Detroit Tigers and the A's. He arrived in Oakland that year in exchange for left-handed pitcher David Purcey.
Sizemore, 28, has played 97 career games at third base, 58 at second base.