(Eds: Updates with details, quotes.) Sean Doolittle is looking to his past to help shape his future.
The Oakland Athletics made him a first-round draft pick as a first baseman in 2007 but two knee injuries and a wrist problem conspired against his development. So the left-hander has returned to his pitching roots, hoping it will eventually land him a job in the major leagues.
Doolittle was initially drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves as a pitcher but attended the University of Virginia instead, where he was used in both roles.
He said then-Braves scout J.J. Picollo, now an assistant GM with the Kansas City Royals, and current Athletics director of player development Keith Lieppman were instrumental in helping guide his career choices.
''J.J. was pretty influential in getting me some exposure,'' said Doolittle, who faced major league hitters Thursday for the first time in an intrasquad game. ''He asked me to play for a Braves scout team and we had some games in nort...