PHOENIX – Second baseman Jemile Weeks has gone from one of the favored few to one of the early exits at the A's spring training camp.
Weeks and outfielder Shane Peterson were sent to the River Cats after the A's 7-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Both were hitting well – Peterson at .408 and Weeks at .370. But Peterson, a first-year Cactus League player, never had a chance of cracking an entrenched outfield.
Weeks, meanwhile, had bad luck on a couple of levels. He had a hot start but landed badly on his shoulder a week into the Cactus League and missed 1 1/2 weeks.
By the time he returned, Eric Sogard (.525) had gone on a tremendous hitting tear, Adam Rosales (.343) was hitting well, and Jed Lowrie (.310), the shortstop the A's acquired from Houston 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 Weeks can't play all over the infield like Sogard and Rosales worked against him.
Another infielder, Scott Sizemore, is receiving extra time to come back from a torn ACL that forced him to miss last season.
Norris shows power – Derek Norris is stuck in a platoon at catcher with John Jaso, but he's doing his best to try to get an edge.
Norris hit a two-run homer off Josh Beckett in the third inning Sunday, giving him a team-high five homers this spring. Four have come against right-handers.
Jaso, a left-handed batter, is supposed to get most of the at-bats against right-handers. Melvin has said it won't be a strict platoon and that the right-handed-hitting Norris would bat against some right-handers.
Norris already has beefed up his expectations based on what he has done this spring, which includes a .382 average and taking excess movement out of his swing.
"Any extra movement (in his swing) will set me back," Norris said.
Jaso, who was acquired from Seattle in January, hasn't had a great spring (.226 with no homers). But he has been known for his high on-base percentage and knack for clutch hits.
"Derek has had a nice spring, and he's made a lot of progress on defense," Melvin said. "But Jaso has been swinging the bat good, too."