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Rosales recall the end for Weeks as A’s seek help?

It’s been clear for a while, but today’s move to bring back Adam Rosales shouts the message that there is no room in Oakland for Jemile Weeks.

The winter before last, Weeks was the one untouchable player on the A’s roster after a .303 rookie season at second base. But he languished through a .221 sophomore slump in 2012 and this year he isn’t ever being talked about as being in the mix by the A’s front office.

For the month of July, Weeks is hitting .357 and that’s brought his overall average up to .282, so he appears to have recaptured the offense he lost last season.

Weeks appears to see the writing on the wall. He’s split time between second base and shortstop in the infield and has voluntarily made the move to the outfield, where he’s made 11 appearances for Triple-A Sacramento. Being more versatile will only add to his appeal.

But at this point, his appeal in Oakland is minimal. It seems likely he’ll be traded sooner or later, because the A’s have fallen out of love with him.

Rosales brings some defensive skills with him, but he was a .200 hitter with four homers in 48 games with the A’s before being taken off the roster and shipped to Sacramento, where he hit .240 in six games.

If the A’s are going to chase offensive improvement with the trading deadline just a week away, it’s almost certainly going to be at second base or shortstop.

The Phillies are fading a bit in the NL East (second place, but seven games behind Atlanta), and they seem willing to at least consider letting Chase Utley go, although it’s not clear how much they’d want in return or indeed if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline.

Utley, hitting .286 with 13 homers, is 34 years old and will be a free agent next year, and could be just the thing for the A’s if they could pry him loose.

On the other end of the spectrum, if the A’s want to just bring in a solid defensive player at shortstop and move Jed Lowrie to full-time duty at second base, they could probably get Seattle’s Brendan Ryan for very little now that Ryan has become a backup in the Pacific Northwest.

The A’s have one more option at Triple-A in Hiro Nakajima, but his situation isn’t all that much better than Weeks’. Nakajima is riding a 14-game hitting streak (20-for-56, .357) through Tuesday, the longest such streak for a Sacramento player this season.

But while he’s brought his average up 19 points to .286 since July 4, he didn’t seem to be in the conversation either when the decision to bring Rosales up was made

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Demotion end of a bad-luck spring for A’s Weeks

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.

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Sizemore, Rosales, Sogard battle for one roster spot, increasing likelihood of a deal being done

After the A’s dispatched the Dodgers 7-4 Sunday, the club sent down second baseman Jemile Weeks and outfielder Shane Peterson.

Those were tough cuts, with Peterson hitting .408 and Weeks hitting .370.

It’s not going to get any easier, but some of the players who will make the team aren’t going to have numbers anywhere close to the numbers of the players just sent down.

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Weeks getting closer to return to lineup while Sizemore is back in there against Mariners

PHOENIX – A’s second baseman Jemile Weeks hasn’t played since landing badly on his shoulder in a collision at second base last Friday, but he hopes to be playing by the end of this weekend.

Scott Sizemore, another combatant for the second base job that belonged to Weeks at this time a year ago, reported to Oakland’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium facility Thursday without a bandage on his left hand, indicating that he’s ready to play for the first time since Sunday.

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Melvin has mid-March target date for A’s to settle on second base/shortstop combination

Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima

PHOENIX – The A’s could be settled on a starting shortstop/second base combination by mid-March.

Manager Bob Melvin said Saturday that in an ideal world, the congestion up the middle would be cleared out with about two weeks left in the A’s spring training season.

That would give presumed shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima a fortnight in which to create a comfort zone with whichever of the five second base candidates wins the job.

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Josh Reddick gets a shot as the A’s No. 3 hitter

Checking in from the Coliseum for the A’s home opener. Technically, their home opener took place at the Tokyo Dome, but this feels more like the authentic deal. And we should have a good atmosphere for it, with a sellout crowd expected. (Tomorrow night will be a different story. Expect half the turnout of what they get tonight). …

The A’s lineup took many different shapes during spring training and in the Tokyo series, and tonight brings another twist. Coco Crisp bats second with Cliff Pennington dropping down to the ninth spot. Josh Reddick is hitting third, followed by DH Jonny Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes in the fifth spot. The complete lineups:

A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp LF, Reddick RF, Gomes DH, Cespedes CF, Suzuki C, Donaldson 3B, Ka’aihue 1B, Pennington SS; McCarthy RHP.

Mariners: Figgins LF, Ackley 2B, Ichiro RF, Smoak 1B, Montero DH, Seager 3B, Olivo C, Saunders CF, Ryan SS; Vargas LHP.

“I want to see what Reddick can do in the ‘3’ spot,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s shown he can hit lefties … He’s swinging the bat consistently, and you want the most consistent guy hitting third for you.”

It’s definitely a more conventional look – with Crisp, a speedy switch hitter, batting second rather than third – and to me it offers the most promise. It gives the A’s two switch-hitting table-setters atop the lineup in Weeks and Crisp, and in Reddick, they have a No. 3 hitter with a little more pop in his bat. Batting Pennington ninth also makes the bottom of the order stronger, and as Melvin pointed out, he still has a speedy trio batting back-to-back-to-back in Pennington, Weeks and Crisp. Now, it can all change quickly, as it did during the spring. But I would expect to see this batting order, or one very similar to it, often in the first couple weeks of the season.

What are your thoughts on this lineup, 1 through 9? …

–Reddick provided the quote of the afternoon, and it had nothing to do with batting third. The right fielder was asked about the challenge of the language barrier between him and center fielder Cespedes. “As long as he knows how to say ‘I got it,’ we’re going to be all right,” Reddick said. “I don’t want that brick wall running into me.”

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Postgame thoughts as A’s notch their sixth straight victory

Here’s a few odds and ends that didn’t all make it into my story for tomorrow’s paper. …

–How much should we pay attention to Cactus League winning streaks? Not a whole lot. But the A’s notched their sixth victory in a row with Thursday’s 11-7 win over Texas, and manager Bob Melvin thinks there’s something to be said for it. The A’s are 10-3-1, tied with Seattle for the best mark in the Cactus League heading into the Mariners’ game Thursday night. “We have a lot of new guys, and winning is important, whether it’s an intrasquad game or a spring training game,” Melvin said. “If we were 2-12, I’d probably be talking differently. But it does matter. It really does.”

Right now, I think fans should be more enthused about the hot hitting of Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington. Weeks, who is batting .419 and homered from both sides of the plate Thursday, is an obvious key in the leadoff spot. I’ve had Pennington pegged as the No. 9 hitter in my projected batting order. But the guy is hitting .464 right now (4 for 4 on Thursday). If he keeps this up, might Melvin be inclined to hit him higher in the order? I still like him hitting ninth, a speedy guy who can turn the lineup over and get Weeks some at-bats with runners on base.

Where would you like to see Pennington hit?

–Melvin applied some sugar-coating on Brad Peacock’s poor start Thursday — 2 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 3 walks. But Peacock was understandably disappointed in himself. He walked two men in the first and then allowed a three-run double to Nelson Cruz on a 1-2 pitch. “I was missing spots,” Peacock said. “I can’t walk guys.” He’s had two shaky outings sandwiched around one good outing. Right now, it’s tough to see him nailing down a rotation spot. If I were choosing winners today for the three open rotation spots, I’d go Tom Milone, Jarrod Parker and Tyson Ross. “He’s going through a little bit of a tough time,” Melvin said of Peacock. “He hasn’t had the greatest draws either with lineups. The results aren’t what he wants to see right now. The stuff’s still good.”

–The first base job is looking like a two-man battle between Brandon Allen and Kila Ka’aihue. That’s what I gleaned from Melvin’s comments Thursday morning when asked about Chris Carter’s spring camp. Carter is hitting .263 with no homers and one RBI. That average is actually better than Ka’aihue’s .211 mark, though Ka’aihue has one homer. But it’s clear, judging how playing time is being doled out, that Carter doesn’t appear to be in the big league plans. Melvin remarked recently that Carter’s at-bats were better in early exhibitions than they have been lately. He has seven strikeouts in 19 at-bats overall.

“We were looking to try to see if his at-bats were better at the big league level. That’s really the only thing that’s been missing,” Melvin said. “He’s ended up feeling comfortable at every level, but (not) at the big league level at this point.”

Interestingly — and surprisingly — Melvin does not count Daric Barton out of the competition. Barton has been slowed all spring by complications as he comes back from shoulder surgery. His throwing has been limited, but he is tentatively set to play defense for the first time Saturday. Melvin does acknowlege, however, that a stint in extended spring training is possible for Barton.

The smart money remains on Allen to be the A’s opening day first baseman …

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Jose Canseco dreams; Bartolo Colon signs; FanFest information and other A’s news

I’m coming at you late in the day with this, but here’s a roundup of A’s-related items as we creep closer to spring training …

–If you didn’t catch this story on our website, I talked to Jose Canseco today. The man still dreams of returning to the major leagues, and he thinks he could help the A’s at DH. More than anything, he just wants a big league team to give him a tryout. I’ll say this: He came across very sincere in his ambition. I’m just not sure how much demand there is for a 47-year-old who hasn’t played in the majors since 2001.

–The A’s made it official today, signing right-hander Bartolo Colon to a one-year, $2 million contract. So that makes three spots filled in the rotation – Brandon McCarthy, Dallas Braden (assuming he’s healthy) and Colon. But how does the back of the rotation materialize? That’s what I’m interested to see in spring training. A couple of those young newcomers are definitely going to come into play, depending on whether Tyson Ross grabs the reins on a starting job. I definitely think the A’s needed to sign a veteran starter, but can we expect Colon, 38, to duplicate what he did with the Yankees last year? And remember, he struggled in the second half.

The A’s have yet to announce the Jonny Gomes signing, but that will come any time now, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

–The lowdown on Sunday’s FanFest at Oracle Arena: It runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids 14 and under. You can buy them at the A’s Ticket Services Office or online at oaklandathletics.com/fanfest. Parking is free … Which players will be there? Practically the entire roster, including Jemile Weeks, Coco Crisp, Dallas Braden, Kurt Suzuki, Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy. Manager Bob Melvin and his coaching staff will be on hand, along with former A’s greats Gene Tenace, Vida Blue and Joe Rudi. Scott Hatteberg and David Justice – who found themselves back in the spotlight thanks to “Moneyball” — will also attend. I’m told GM Billy Beane will not be in town Sunday, but assistant GM David Forst will take part in the fan Q & A session.

The most intriguing FanFest attraction: The chance to meet one-on-one with A’s co-owner and managing partner Lew Wolff “to discuss a variety of topics in an intimate setting,” according to a team release. I’d like to be a fly on the wall for some of these conversations. Wolff has taken substantial heat from fans in recent years for a number of reasons, so I’m somewhat surprised he’s making himself available. Fans can sign up to meet Wolff at the information booth on the plaza located between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena from 9-10:30 a.m.

–“Moneyball” scored big when Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday, landing nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill) among other awards. Adding a touch of Vegas to the Hollywood proceedings, bookmaker Jimmy Shapiro placed odds at 30-1 for “Moneyball” to win Best Picture (“The Artist,” at 2-7 odds, is the favorite) and 10-1 on Pitt to win Best Actor.

–Lastly, the A’s signed 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Yairo Munoz for a $280,000 bonus, according to the Dominican Prospect League website. Munoz’s defensive skills are said to be his strongpoint, along with above-average speed. It’s tough to project how any of these international prospects will develop when they’re signed at such a young age. Will the A’s ever get a return on the $4.2 million they invested in Dominican right-hander Michael Ynoa, 20, who is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery? The A’s are pouring lots of money into their international scouting and player development, thinking they can get a jump on teams that are focusing their big spending at the major league level …