DETROIT -- On Sunday the A's will learn if their long drought of not having any position players on the American League All-Star team is over.

It's been a decade since Ramon Hernandez made the team as a catcher. Since then, it's been nothing but pitchers for the A's.

Now the A's have one player who almost certainly will be voted onto the team, third baseman Josh Donaldson, and two others who might be, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and catcher Derek Norris.

But those aren't the only candidates from Oakland for the team. And when he was asked who he'd like to see taken from his roster, A's manager Bob Melvin deferred.

Any opinions he has he'll share with All-Star manager John Farrell in a phone call in the next day or two.

Scott Kazmir of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the San Francisco Giants in a Bay Bridge series spring training game Thursday night March 27, 2014,
Scott Kazmir of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the San Francisco Giants in a Bay Bridge series spring training game Thursday night March 27, 2014, at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

"I don't want to leave anybody off,'' Melvin said. "And I do understand how difficult (Farrell's job) is.''

Going into the last series at home against Toronto before the announcement, here's where the A's stand:

  • Donaldson (. 245, 18 homers, 61 RBIs) has led the voting at third base wire to wire even as his numbers have faded some of late.

  • Cespedes (. 273, 14, 55) has made a late surge and is now one of the top three vote-getters for the three-man outfield, although his margin over fourth and fifth place isn't much.

  • Norris (. 304, 8, 45) is second in the catching competition and could pass Matt Wieters, the leader, because Wieters is injured and out for the season.


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  • Brandon Moss (. 264, 18, 60) is a long shot because he was listed as DH on the ballot, and the AL is loaded with DHs having big years.

  • LHP Scott Kazmir (9-3, 2.61) is fifth in the league in wins and ERA and has been a major MLB comeback story.

  • RHP Sonny Gray (7-3, 3.20) had a better shot a couple of weeks ago, but he's 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA in his last four games.

  • LHP Sean Doolittle (1-3, 2.97) should make the team based on his 24 consecutive games without allowing a run, but blown saves his last two times out may hurt his cause.

  • RHP Dan Otero (6-1, 2.10, 1 save) probably has no shot, but the occasion non-closer reliever gets a call, and Otero's been as important to the A's success as anyone.

  • Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris were back in the A's lineup, as was Nate Freiman.

    Cespedes (hamstring) and Norris (back) have been cleared by the medics to play. Freiman, also a right-hander was getting a start because Justin Verlander was on the mound.

    The longtime Tigers ace is right-handed, but he's had unexpected troubled against right-handed batters this year. They are hitting .328 against him, while lefties are averaging just .243.

    Freiman faced primarily lefties last year, but he got plenty of at-bats against right-handers in the minors this year, something the A's feel is important to the first baseman's long-term success. He's making his third career start against a right-hander.

    It wasn't all right-handers for the A's, though, because third baseman Josh Donaldson got the day off as Melvin shook up the lineup after a couple of losses.

  • Melvin hinted that lefty reliever Eric O'Flaherty could be activated on this homestand.

    He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since early in the 2013 season when he needed Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery in his left elbow.

    O'Flaherty, currently on an injury rehabilitation assignment, threw one inning for Triple-A Sacramento Tuesday, getting the last two outs of the fourth inning and the first out of the fifth inning.

    For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Inside the A's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.