By John Hickey
Sunday, March 24th, 2013 at 7:00 pm in 2013 spring training.
Jemile Weeks has gone from one of the favored few to one of the early exits at the Oakland A’s camp.
Weeks and outfielder Shane Peterson both were set to Triple-A Sacramento after Sunday’s game.
Both were hitting well, Peterson at .408 and Weeks at .370, but Peterson, a first-year player in terms of the Cactus League, never had a chance of cracking an entrenched outfield.
It was different for Weeks, who had bad luck on a couple of levels to wind up getting shipped back to the minor leagues.
The second baseman got off to a hot start, but landed badly on his shoulder a week into the Cactus League and missed a week and half’s worth of work. By the time he got back, Eric Sogard had gone on a tremendous hitting tear, Adam Rosales was hitting well, too, and Jed Lowrie, the shortstop the A’s got from the Astros in the Chris Carter deal, was locking down a roster spot.
“Weeks was a tough decision, because he had a good spring,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s been working very hard, and his defense had been coming around.’’
In the end, though, Melvin couldn’t find as much playing time for Weeks once he came back from the injury, and the fact that Weeks is a second baseman and not able to play all over the infield like Sogard and Rosales played against him.
More than that, there is a corporate philosophy, if you want to phrase it that way, that played against Weeks. The philosophy is simple: Keep as much talent as possible in the organization.
Weeks has an option, so he could be sent to the minor leagues. Rosales is out of options, and he’s still with the big league club. The same is true for Scott Sizemore, who also is out of options and who also is still with the club despite a .171 spring average.
And Sogard is just one of the spring training comets who streak through Arizona every so often. The guy is hitting .538 and has hits in 15 of his last 21 at-bats. Sending Sogard down – now that would be tough.