PHOENIX -- Jed Lowrie and Chris Young could find themselves bonding during the next six weeks as each man tries to carve out a role for himself with the A's in spring training.
Both men are established at one position, shortstop for Lowrie and center field for Young. But given the state of the A's roster, both have an excellent chance of spending more time at other positions.
Shortstop has been given to Hiroyuki Nakajima, and center field is the domain of Coco Crisp. Neither position is locked down, but as full-squad workouts begin Sunday, Lowrie and Young would have to be considered major underdogs to play their customary positions.
"It is an uncertain situation," said Lowrie, a starter with the Houston Astros last season when healthy. "I consider myself a shortstop. But I was an All-American playing second base (at Stanford), so it's not like I have no experience there. I prefer shortstop, but I have the opportunity to play for a team that won the division last year, and I like that idea a lot."
The 28-year-old Lowrie, acquired in the Chris Carter trade, will get work at second, third and a little at first in addition to short. For the moment, Young, 29, will be the backup in left, center and right and could see time as the designated hitter.
It isn't going to be easy for either man, manager Bob Melvin said.
"I'll map it out so he'll know a few days in advance where he'll be playing," Melvin said of Lowrie. "He'll know one day he'll be in 'X' spot and another day he'll be in 'X' spot. I talked to him about it. He didn't complain. And I told him things will work themselves out this spring."
Lowrie will share playing time with Nakajima during the first full week of camp, which starts Sunday. As the spring goes along, Nakajima will stay at short and Lowrie will move to second, third and perhaps first.
"Nakajima has played some at second base in the World Baseball Classic," Melvin said. "But we brought him here as a shortstop. He came to me and said he'd do whatever we need him to do, but for now, let's go with him at shortstop."
Lowrie has a better chance of being a starter at second base, where he is competing with Scott Sizemore, Jemile Weeks, Adam Rosales and perhaps Eric Sogard.
Young, a former All-Star center fielder with the Arizona Diamondbacks, doesn't appear to have as good a chance to become a starter, unless it's as the designated hitter or he and Crisp split time between center and D.H.
That's a bit of a comedown, but so was the 2012 season, when Young's power production (14 homers and 41 RBIs) fell to half of his production of 2010 (27 and 91).
"That will be hard for him," Melvin said of Young adjusting to left and right fields. "There is pride involved. For now, the days he'll get in center will be the days Coco has off."
Outfielders Michael Taylor and Shane Peterson, seeing the crowded outfield, already are working some at first base. Melvin said another outfielder, Seth Smith, is open to playing there, too.
"Moss has the ability to be an everyday player," Melvin said. "You saw some ability to hit left-handed pitchers last year. We have options at first base, but there's a good chance Moss is going to be an everyday guy."
"I'm impressed by the fact that every time (right-hander) Ryan Cook doesn't hit the glove, he's upset," Melvin said. "He's made serious strides from last year."