OAKLAND – Third baseman Josh Donaldson is not in the A’s lineup Sunday, a rare occurrence for a player who has been Oakland’s iron man this season.
Donaldson suffered a strained right quadriceps injury in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Houston but remained in the game. He’s played in 140 of the A’s first 142 games this season.
Alberto Callaspo is starting at third base Sunday in the series finale against the Astros.
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“This time of year, every game is really important,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s difficult to have him out. (But) with the off day tomorrow, it is definitely the prudent thing to do.”
With the A’s off Monday, Donaldson stands to get two full days offto recover, and Melvin is encouarged Donaldson will return Tuesday in the road trip opener at Minnesota.
Donaldson said he wasn’t sure how he injured his leg, and that it gradually got worse throughout Saturday’s game. He came to the park assuming he’d be in the lineup but added that he still feels a bit of discomfort. “I never wanna miss a game, but I think it’s best right now.”
Melvin said he wasn’t sure if closer Grant Balfour would be available. Balfour threw 35 pitches Friday and didn’t pitch Saturday. “Potentially he’s available, but there’s always the potential I’d like to get him through the off-day too.”
Fellow reliever Dan Otero will leave the team after Sunday’s game to be with his wife as she prepares to give birth. The plan is to induce labor Monday and he is scheduled to rejoin the A’s on Wednesday.