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A's Jaso to catch for first time since concussion

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm •  Published: February 25, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso will take his place behind home plate in a game for the first time since suffering a concussion when he was struck by a foul tip on July 24.

Jaso was given the starting nod for the spring training opener in Scottsdale on Wednesday, a move A's manager Bob Melvin hopes will put Jaso at ease quickly.

Melvin said Jaso will play four or five innings.

"We'll see what he does right off the bat," Melvin said Tuesday.

Jaso, who said he's treating it like any other game, feels confident he'll be fine.

"I'm just excited to get back there, get in a game and call some pitches," Jaso said.

The only thing he's changed is his mask, returning to the heavier steel frame designed to withstand more force than the titanium mask he wore the past few years.

"When I finally get involved, I won't be thinking about what happens if I get hit by another foul tip," Jaso said. "I have to go out and do it and I'm going to go there without thinking about what happened; like it never happened."

Jaso, the A's opening day catcher last season, hit a home run in the same game in which he was injured. He batted .271 with 21 RBIs before the concussion and was part of a successful platoon with Derek Norris.

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