OAKLAND -- The A's on Sunday claimed infielder Luke Hughes off waivers from the Twins, signaling a likely change in the third-base picture.
With Hughes, a career .224 hitter, set to join the team Monday, it's probable that Oakland demotes Josh Donaldson, who entered the day with a dismal .094 average through nine games.
But a corresponding 25-man roster move isn't expected until Hughes' arrival, so manager Bob Melvin refrained from divulging any information related to the looming transaction. However, when asked if Hughes would be inserted into the third-base mix, Melvin replied, "There's a good chance of that."
"He's a versatile guy that can play anywhere in the infield," he said. "He's got a little power, and we'll see what he has to offer."
Hughes, 27, appeared on Minnesota's Opening Day roster and went 2-for-10 with two RBIs in four games before he was designated for assignment Wednesday. Last year he played in 96 games for the Twins, compiling a .223 average with seven home runs and 30 RBIs.
The Australian native, who gives the A's three Aussies in the clubhouse, has spent the majority of his big league career on the right side of the infield, having appeared in 40 games at second base and 37 at first. He's played in 16 at third base, which was his primary position in the Minors.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Hughes, the A's transferred lefty Dallas Braden to the 60-day disabled list. Braden, who was shut down April 2, was initially expected to begin his throwing program again this week, but whether he does is unknown.
Parker to get call for start Wednesday
OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin announced Sunday that top pitching prospect Jarrod Parker will be called up this week to start Wednesday's afternoon matchup with the visiting White Sox.
The 23-year-old right-hander, who missed out on a rotation spot at season's start after command issues plagued him all spring, has worked his way through those at Triple-A Sacramento. Parker is 1-0 with a 2.18 ERA with 21 strikeouts and six walks in 20 2/3 innings across four starts.
"He's been pitching well," Melvin said. "We've always envisioned him being here at some point in time, especially with the stuff he has."
Parker's looming promotion comes in the wake of Graham Godfrey's return to Triple-A. Parker was the key piece of December's trade that sent All-Star Trevor Cahill to Arizona, where Parker was considered the D-backs' No. 1 prospect.
Following rehab from his 2010 Tommy John surgery, Parker posted an 11-8 record and 3.79 ERA for Arizona's Double-A club last year. He was called up to the big leagues for the first time in September and impressed greatly in just one start, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings and earning a spot on the club's postseason roster.
Parker will be pitching on three days' rest, but he utilized just 48 pitches in his Saturday start.
Crisp close to returning from ear infection
OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp was held out of the A's lineup for a fifth consecutive day Sunday, as he continues to recover from a head cold that resulted in an inner-ear infection.
Crisp hit in the indoor cage in the morning and was a possibility to be lifted off the bench in the later innings. Either way, there's a good chance he'll be back in action come Monday.
"He's better today," Melvin said. "For all the guys who had the flu, he's had it a little more than that. If it was just the flu, I know Coco would have been out on the field. He's a tough guy. We were dealing with a little bit more. I think we're getting past that."
With Crisp still sidelined, Melvin started Seth Smith in left field for Sunday's series finale with the Indians and inserted fellow left-hander Kila Ka'aihue into the designated hitter slot against Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson.