By John Hickey
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 at 9:23 am in 2013 spring training.
PHOENIX – Jemile Weeks’ poor performance in 2012, poor enough to get him sent down to Triple-A Sacramento in August, had more to do with injuries than the A’s second baseman let on.
That’s the opinion of manager Bob Melvin, who said Saturday morning on the morning of the Cactus League opener down the road in Maryvale against the Brewers that knee, hip and arm problems all contributed to Weeks’ falloff from a strong rookie performance in 2011.
“You will never hear him say this,’’ Melvin said, “but that made it difficult for him to do the things he can do. He’s healthy now, but he will never tell you how banged up he (was).’’
The manager said that the hip and knee problems were a particular problem in that they took a key part of Weeks’ game, speed, away from him.
Now Weeks, who is in today’s lineup leading off, has a chance to put all that behind him. In particular, Weeks can’t be carrying bad at-bats out to the field on defense, the manager said.
“He’s got to get back to doing what he did the year before,’’ Melvin said. “When he wasn’t hitting right (last year), it was tough for him to focus on his total game.
“He’s in position (to win the second base job). He has the talent.’’