PHOENIX -- Will the A's go with a straight platoon at catcher, John Jaso against right-handers and Derek Norris against left-handers?

It sounds as if that's exactly what's going to happen, and the fact that Norris had three more hits and his 11th and 12th RBIs of the spring Tuesday in an 8-4 win over the Reds in the next-to-last Cactus League game ever at Phoenix Municipal Stadium isn't altering that fact.

Norris has hits in 14 of his last 28 at-bats and an overall average of .436. Even so, the A's are all about the platoon, so the left-handed Jaso (.279 but a .442 on-base percentage) figures to get most of the starts against right-handed pitchers.

But Norris is seeing both lefties and righties now and is mauling them.

"I firmly believe that if you keep performing and you play to your ability, you will force their hands,'' he said. "Just keep replicating that success.''

The early multitude of right-handers the A's are likely to see -- six of the first seven starters from the Indians and the Mariners will be right-handers -- is an issue. How will Norris, who has balls rocketing off his bat at this point, keep his timing?

Manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that he wants to make sure Norris doesn't lose his edge. But he won't get many starts against right-handed pitchers, either.

"He's had one of the more impressive springs,'' Melvin said. "We don't look too much at spring numbers, but you can't help but notice the adjustments he's made to his swing. He better understands his mechanics now.


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"We want to keep him current. There will be some stretches where (he doesn't play). He could play some day games after night games, things like that.''

But the lefty-righty platoon is intact, at least for now.

  • Elsewhere in the lineup, Melvin is ready to go with Josh Donaldson batting second and Jed Lowrie third when the club faces right-handed pitching.

    Melvin isn't saying the two won't hit elsewhere in the lineup, especially against left-handed pitching, but he likes this setup best, in part because it allows him to have the lineup left-right-left-right-left through the first five batters. But that's not all.

    "The numbers play into it,'' the manager said, "but there are certain guys who are better at letting Coco (Crisp) run.''

    Melvin wants leadoff hitter Crisp to have more opportunity to steal bases, and the manager says Donaldson offers that.

    "Jed is a real hitter in that he sees something and he hits it," Melvin said. "J.D. likes to have a man on second base to drive in.''

  • Alberto Callaspo has only played four games in his life at first base, all of them this spring, and he will be the right-handed bat in the first base platoon. Daric Barton and Brandon Moss will share time as the lefty batters.

    Since Callaspo, a switch-hitter, has never played first base before this year, he can use all the work at first he can get. Melvin likes what he's seen so far from Callaspo, but said the veteran infielder would likely get a game or two more this week at the position to get him tuned up.

  • The report on Jarrod Parker was that his second Tommy John surgery, performed Monday in Florida by Dr. James Andrews, went well. Melvin said he hasn't yet talked with Parker but he'd heard "all went well.''

  • The A's got a couple of homers from their left-handed power bats Tuesday, a three-run shot from Moss in the second inning and a solo blast in the fifth by Josh Reddick. Moss has a team-best 14 RBIs and Reddick, who also had an RBI single, has 13.

  • Tommy Milone threw five innings, gave up four runs and said he's pleased at where he's at. He'll pitch in relief on Saturday in the final game of the Bay Bridge series only because the club is off Sunday, then be the 5th man in the rotation come April. He's using his two-seam pitch as his primary fastball now. "I can see using it a lot (in the season),'' he said. "I'm getting a lot of ground balls with it.''

  • Playing in a minor league game, disabled pitchers Ryan Cook (shoulder) and Fernando Rodriguez (Tommy John surgery recovery) both pitched an inning and outfielder Craig Gentry got two hits in six at-bats.

    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.