OAKLAND -- Hideki Matsui hasn't played a game in right field since 2008, when he was still with the Yankees. But that will likely change next week when the A's travel to New York and Philadelphia for Interleague Play.
A's interim manager Bob Melvin, who reinserted Matsui into the team's everyday lineup last week, said the slugger will see time in the outfield during the team's six-game National League road trip. Melvin said his decision to play Matsui in the outfield is due to the length of the road trip, adding that he would be less apt to play him there if it were just a three-game trip.
"I want to keep him current and I want to keep him getting current at-bats and consistent at-bats because he's done very well to this point," Melvin said. "There's a good chance you could see him get a start in the outfield, maybe once a series, then the other games doing the pinch-hitting thing. I've talked to him about it and he's comfortable with it."
Since Melvin took over the A's managerial duties, Matsui went 7-for-23 with three home runs, seven RBIs and five walks while batting third in the order as the team's designated hitter.
When Matsui does play the outfield during the six-game swing, it likely won't be in the left-field position he is accustomed to, but rather in right, where he has played only seven games during his Major League career. In 2008, the last time Matsui saw time in right field, he played three games and started two of them.
Despite Matsui's limited experience at the position, Melvin said the slugger is up for the challenge, even though he admitted playing right field at New York's Citi Field could present more of a challenge than Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park. The Mets' ballpark is deeper than the Phillies', with right-center field ranging from 378 to 415 feet away at Citi Field, compared to 369 feet to the power alley in right field at Citizens Bank Park.
"To his credit, he's up for anything," Melvin said. "It's never a problem. I just want to make sure I communicate with him. He'll be prepared, he told me he will be prepared and he's comfortable with that and however I need to use him."
The rest of the A's road trip, Matsui will be used primarily as a pinch-hitter, but Melvin didn't rule out the possibility of using him in a double-switch scenario or other situations that may arise in NL parks.
"I can get him an at-bat every day pinch-hitting, but when he's not playing every day in the outfield, he's also a piece you want to save for a big situation," Melvin said.
Sizemore forcing himself into A's lineup
OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin is continually growing more comfortable holding the reins in Oakland, but that doesn't necessarily make everyday decisions any easier.
Melvin has particularly found hard choices in deciphering starters in right field and third base, with Scott Sizemore and Adam Rosales as the primary options at the latter position.
Sizemore, recalled from Triple-A on June 6 to fill a void left by the demoted Kevin Kouzmanoff, entered Thursday's series finale against the Royals batting .381 (8-for-21) with three walks and five RBIs in seven games, including six starts at third base.
That level of production has left Rosales on the bench without a start since June 9, and the downtime follows nearly six months of rehab from right foot surgery.
"Right now, with Sizemore coming in being the new guy, he's been doing some good things, so I wanted to make sure he's getting some consistent at-bats, and the guy that's having to pay for that at this point in time is Rosie, unfortunately," Melvin explained. "But I haven't forgotten about him, and I need to get him involved like I try to with everybody on this team."
That is why Rosales will get a start at the hot corner on Saturday against San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez. Melvin likes the matchup and is a big proponent of giving starts on days that lend higher rates of potential success.
"[Rosales] is the one guy that probably hasn't had the consistent at-bats and the full spring," Melvin said. "So I really want to make sure I try to get him in there against a guy I think matches up to his type of profile as a hitter. Not that Sanchez is any day at the beach."
Before his injury last August, Rosales was batting .271 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 80 games and was the first A's player since 1995 to start at least one game at six positions. Had he not been coming off foot surgery, the 27-year-old Rosales would have been the likely choice to fill in for Mark Ellis (hamstring), but rookie Jemile Weeks has served that role and hit .321 in eight starts at second base.
"I've been very impressed, and that's why I want to get him out there on a consistent basis," Melvin said of Weeks. "That plays into the Rosie situation too, unfortunately, but for a young player and a highly touted prospect such as him, it probably does a disservice to him if he's not playing every day. He's done very well. Success breeds confidence, and he's got a lot of confidence. He's been as advertised for me to this point."
Melvin expects Ellis to return to the club's active roster once eligible on Wednesday, but has not yet offered any insight into what that means for the second0base situation when the time comes.
Melvin picks up first ejection as A's manager
OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin was ejected in the third inning of Thursday's series finale against the Royals after arguing two calls on the bases.
Melvin, tossed by third-base umpire Tim Tschida, entered his first disagreement with first-base umpire Mike Estabrook when Kansas City's Melky Cabrera was deemed safe at first base on the back end of a potential double play.
Melvin was then unsatisfied with a call at second base just minutes later, when Cabrera was ruled safe while stealing second base. The A's skipper yelled something from the dugout soon after, at which point Tschida motioned for an ejection. Melvin said it was a misunderstanding, and that he wasn't yelling at Tschida, but just venting his own frustration at the A's not getting either call in their favor.
"I probably went a little too far," Melvin said. "Timmy thought I was arguing with him, and he wasn't even involved with it and he ended up throwing me out, so that's where a little bit of the miscommunication was."
Melvin didn't exit quickly, though, instead running out on the field to exchange a handful of words with Tschida before walking back to the clubhouse.
"I was trying to support my players because it looked like Weeks thought [Cabrera] was out at second base on that play and was a little frustrated," Melvin said. "I probably went too far. I didn't want to go out to the field every inning. That would have been my third time out there. It's probably not a good example to set, so I learned my lesson."
It marked the first ejection of the year for Melvin and the 20th of his career.
Melvin watched the rest of the game, which the A's won 8-4 to take the series against the Royals, from the clubhouse. The A's are now 2-0 when their manager has been ejected this year, also defeating the Orioles 4-2 on May 28 after former manager Bob Geren was tossed for arguing balls and strikes.
Outfielder Coco Crisp returned to the A's lineup Thursday after missing the previous night's game because of a sore heel. Crisp went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The A's Community Fund will partner with the Josh Willingham Foundation on Friday to auction off player baskets to assist funding for tornado relief in the South. Wives and significant others of A's players created baskets of players' favorite things, including gift certificates, signed items and other memorabilia.
The baskets will be part of a silent auction behind Section 121 from the time the gates open at 5:35 p.m. PT until the fifth inning. All proceeds raised will go directly to Willingham's foundation.
The official trailer for "Moneyball," based on the book which chronicles A's general manager Billy Beane's unorthodox ways of fielding a winning baseball team on a small budget, was released by Sony Pictures on Thursday.
The film, which stars Brad Pitt as Beane, along with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill, is set to hit theaters on Sept. 23. Beane said Thursday he has viewed the entire film without the final edits, but isn't ready to offer a review just yet.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.