Ellis to serve as guest instructor in A's camp

February 25th, 2016

MESA, Ariz. -- Former A's second baseman and defensive whiz Mark Ellis is set to return to the club in a temporary role as a Spring Training guest instructor.

Ellis, a longtime fixture in Oakland, will focus his work with the middle infielders, manager Bob Melvin said on Thursday. Ellis is tentatively scheduled to be in camp for a week beginning on March 6.

"I had him a short time before he got traded [to Colorado in 2011], and it was very apparent that this is the kind of guy you're gonna want in an organization if he wants to coach at whatever pace he wants to come back in," Melvin said. "So we put that invitation out a while ago, and we're lucky to be able to get him into camp and see where we go with it."

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Ellis, 38, played in 12 big league seasons, nine of them spent with the A's. He enjoyed his most productive years in Oakland and leaned on his excellent defense to retire with a .991 fielding percentage, fifth all-time among second basemen.

Upon Ellis' retirement, announced one year ago, general manager Billy Beane expressed hope that Ellis would be willing to come work for the club in some capacity, saying there would be a job waiting for Ellis if interested.

Melvin mentioned Jed Lowrie, who is making the switch to second base after spending recent seasons between shortstop and third base, as a prospective student for Ellis, who is also likely to spend time with prospect Joey Wendle.

"It works well timing-wise with Jed not playing the position in a while," Melvin said. "Whenever you can have an elite defender like Mark come here and work with those guys, everybody benefits by it."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Jarrod Parker threw his second official bullpen of the spring on Thursday, looking "a lot smoother" than he appeared to be on Monday, Melvin said.

"The first time you take the mound with everybody, he was admittedly a little antsy and quick with his mechanics," Melvin said. "I thought he was a little more relaxed today."

Parker, attempting to return from two elbow surgeries, will continue throwing bullpens every third day. The A's have yet to determine when he'll get into Spring Training games.