To Chris Young and Jed Lowrie, "utility" is a cuss word. Don't call them that.
Both have gobs of experience as everyday players, and now that they're A's, their roles might be lessened. Young could be the fourth outfielder, Lowrie the fifth infielder. It's great for team depth but not so great for Young and Lowrie.
Thursday, Young caught several balls while playing left field for the first time "in any game at any level." He's being asked to play both corners after playing nothing but center in 851 big-league games.
Asked if he welcomes playing across the outfield, Young said, "You do what you have to do. ... It's not if you like it or not. It's what you do to help the team."
Young considers himself an everyday center fielder, and Lowrie said, "The way I look at it, I'm an everyday shortstop who can play other positions. It's a mistake to call me a utility player. I can play every day at second, short and third."
Lowrie played third Thursday and made a diving stop of a grounder. Manager Bob Melvin said Lowrie eventually will try first, though Lowrie is without a first baseman's mitt.
For now, he said he's competing for a starting job, anywhere. "That's what I would like. We'll see how it plays out in spring training."

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