OAKLAND — Josh Donaldson hasn't had much break time this season.
His last game off was July 2, when he didn't start the final game of a series in Detroit.
When most of the rest of his teammates were getting four days off at the All-Star break, the third baseman was one of the A's representatives at the game in Minneapolis.
So it's no wonder manager Bob Melvin wants to find a way to give him half a day off by using him as the designated hitter. Donaldson did DH on July 6 and again on July 30, but he pushes back when Melvin suggests it.
"I've talked to him the last couple of days about potentially doing that,'' Melvin said of plugging Donaldson in as the DH. "He's reluctant. But I've got an eye on that. He's a tough kid. He wants to play. He knows how much he means to us at third base.''
Right now isn't the best time. Shortstop Jed Lowrie was out of the lineup Tuesday and against was sidelined Wednesday, although he was available to play later in the game if the need arose. With Nick Punto on the disabled list (hamstring), it's tough for the A's to find enough infielders to go around.
Second baseman Eric Sogard is at short for back-to-back days after having played there just once in the first 110 games. That leaves Alberto Callaspo, the logical choice to fill in at third base if Donaldson was to DH, at second and no one available as a backup.
Still, Melvin doesn't want to wear Donaldson down and will continue to look for a spot to give his third baseman a break.
"He's better,'' Melvin said. "My guess is he will start Thursday and is potentially usable off the bench (Wednesday).''
Lowrie said it was a problem throwing Tuesday but Melvin seems confident that the shortstop could make necessary throws now or he wouldn't use him.