Melvin is perfectly suited for the job, understanding the challenges and intricacies that come with an ever-changing, platoon-driven roster. Again, he'll have his fair share of platoons under his watch -- those could form at catcher, first base, left field and designated hitter -- and he's already coming up with lineups in his head.
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No matter the order, it will be without much of the power that engineered last year's lineup. The departures of Donaldson and Moss take away a bucket of home runs, leaving Josh Reddick and newcomers Billy Butler and Ike Davis to help fill that void. But the A's, vying for their fourth consecutive postseason appearance, can't sit and wait on the long ball this time around.
"We can't jam a square peg in a round hole," Melvin said. "If you're a team that's more suited to draw some walks and hit some homers, you're not going to run into outs. But if you have the ability to run a little more, like we do this year, we'll take a look at it.
"I think this is maybe more of a group that maybe we try to run a little more, hit and run, do some things that we haven't in the past."
Melvin and his staff will gain a better grasp on these things in Spring Training, where general manager Billy Beane's overhauled roster will finally be on display for the fans who have patiently waited out a wild winter. They'll witness several competitions, too, notably in the rotation and bullpen.
"I like our team. Our expectations don't change," said Melvin. "We'll go into spring and learn how our guys do things and put them in the proper spots. A little bit similar to 2012, but I think there might be a little bit more talent here, as far as the wider group. This is a team I feel like, especially with the last couple moves we've made, keeps us with the same expectations we've had the last couple years."
Pitchers and catchers report
Full squad reports
First Spring Training game
Home vs. Giants, March 3 at 12:05 p.m. PT
Home vs. Rangers, April 6 at 7:05 p.m. PT