“He was reading balls off the bat and he looked great,” Cash said. “(Monday) the outfielders did their first light throwing. Every ball he threw was right on line. I think from speaking with him, he’s been comfortable with it. We probably didn’t anticipate getting him out there until the end of spring, but I think we have him coming in the third or fourth game of the year and see how it goes. If he’s good we’ll keep working him out there. That’s a great asset for us to have.”
While Jaso's role will primarily be at DH, the Rays want him to learn how to play in the outfield to add versatility to the team's roster.
“I’m enjoying the outfield experience so far,” Jaso said. “I think the challenge is going to be picking up the ball and knowing where to throw, knowing where the cutoff man is going to be, and when there are runners on, knowing which base to throw to to keep the double play in order and catch yourself throwing to third base."
After last month's Ben Zobrist trade, newly acquired
Jason missed the end of the season due to a concussion, and is not afraid to go behind the plate in an emergency situation, if needed. Outside of DH and emergency catcher roles, 31-year-old is also expected to get work in the outfield and at first base when he reports to camp this month.
"It's definitely going to be different," Jaso said. "I'm going to just have to see how it is. I have no idea. The Big Papi program? I don't know. … This will be kind of the first time for me.
"We have an understanding that they want me to hit, and putting me in the instance where I could be in harm's way -- where I would then be on the bench for the rest of the year -- that's not worth it at this point," Jaso said.
Zobrist, a two-time All Star, is coming off a season in which he hit .272/.354/.395 over 570 at-bats. He is entering the final year of his contract, and is due $7.5 million next season. Escobar, 32, hit 258/.324/.340 with seven homers and 39 RBI over 476 at-bats in 2014. He is expected to earn $5 million this season and $7 million in 2016, with a club option for 2017 at $7 million with a $1 million buyout.
The move will likely turn recently acquired Marcus Semien into an "everyday super utility player," Slusser said.
With the additions of DH Billy Butler and first baseman Ike Davis, there might be less playing time for
"I talked to (general manager) Billy (Beane) and I don’t know anything about where I’ll be," Jaso said. "I told him I’m open to addition positions like first base and the outfield, whatever he needs, but as of right now my priority is being a catcher.
"I have no idea if I will be traded. If you’d asked me two years ago when I was with the Mariners, I would have said, 'Hell, yeah, I’m staying,’ but then I was traded. I love this organization and my teammates and I would love to stay with the A’s."
Jaso said he has been cleared to resume catching after he missed the end of the season due to a concussion.
"I think that’s ancient history now," Jaso said. "I’m moving on, starting my workouts and I’m ready to go. As of right now, I’m still planning on taking up catching again, whatever team I’m on."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/30/2014 vs Kansas City|
|vs Kansas City||17||3||0||.222||.176||.176|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
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