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PHOENIX (AP) - Sean Doolittle had a cast covering his right wrist three years ago, the latest in a series of injuries that cost him nearly three years of his professional career.

With his dreams of reaching the major leagues as a first baseman slowly fading, Doolittle made sure he wasn't going to spend the rest of his life wondering if he could have reached the big time: he returned to his roots as a pitcher.

He no longer has to worry about his place with the Oakland Athletics, though he continues to work at his craft. He's a valued member of their bullpen and part of the reason the A's enter this year as two-time defending AL West Division champions.