With two middle-infield questions, A's will need Lowrie (but where?)

PHOENIX -- When the A's traded for Jed Lowrie, they didn't have a full-time position for him. They said he'd play, but they said he might be moving around.

Halfway through spring training, they still don't know, but now the problem is different.

The problem then: They already had starters at every spot.

The problem now: They don't like those starters.

A's people say Japanese free-agent Hiroyuki Nakajima has been so unimpressive at shortstop that they now describe the position as "open." But they say Scott Sizemore has been equally unimpressive at second base.

Lowrie, acquired from the Astros on Feb. 4, could end up starting at either spot, although the A's still like the idea of being able to move him around. Lowrie has hit well so far this spring, going 8-for-21 (.381), with four of the eight hits going for extra bases.

"The attitude has been just play the games, and let things figure themselves out," Lowrie said.

There's still time for Nakajima and/or Sizemore to change how things will be figured out. But more than most teams, the A's are influenced by spring training performance.

So far, in both their cases, it hasn't been good.

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