Injuries Strike A's Middle Infield

The Oakland A's crowded middle infield got significantly less crowded on Tuesday, with two players going down with injuries.

With a strong spring at the plate and in the field, Adam Rosales looked poised to make the Oakland A's Opening Day roster as either the team's starting second baseman or as a utility player. Unfortunately for Rosales, he will be beginning his season on the disabled list with a strained left intercostal muscle.

Rosales injured the muscle on Monday, when he made a throw home on the Brewers' successful double-steal (which included a steal of home). Before the injury, Rosales had appeared in 21 games this spring and had amassed 37 at-bats. He was batting .324/.468/.622 with three homers and eight walks. Rosales is out-of-options, so he is still a strong candidate to return to the A's active 25-man roster when he is healthy. He will be eligible to return from the DL on April 9.

Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima may also be heading to the disabled list after he appeared to injure his left hamstring in the 10th inning of the A's 7-6 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. Nakajima, who singled earlier in the inning to end an 0-for-22 slump, was going from first to second on a sacrifice bunt by D'Arby Myers when he injured his left leg. He left the game at that point.

After the game, Nakajima termed the injury a cramp in his left hamstring, but the A's called it a strained left hamstring. He is considered day-to-day, but the A's probably will err on the side of caution with their free agent acquisition. There had been talk of Nakajima starting the season with Triple-A Sacramento, as he has struggled this spring to adjust to the US game. A stint on the DL would allow him to spent time continuing to work on adjustments at extended spring training and then rehab in Triple-A.

Infielder Eric Sogard and new acquisition Nate Freiman are likely to take the roster spots of Rosales and Nakajima if both are on the DL at the start of the year. Jed Lowrie would assume Nakajima's role as the everyday shortstop. Sogard is still in contention with Scott Sizemore to be the A's everyday second baseman and both could see regular playing time at the position early in the season.

The injuries weren't limited to the A's big league camp, however. A's minor league outfield prospect Rashun Dixon Tweeted on Tuesday that he injured his oblique. Dixon was scheduled to be on the High-A Stockton Ports' Opening Day roster, but he could stay back at extended for a few weeks if he isn't healthy enough to play.

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