I recently reviewed some of the battles going on in A’s camp in Arizona this spring. One of the biggest battles is the second base job that is up for grabs between three players. Well, someone is pushing real hard for the job in the time he has been given so far. Maybe it is because the job was his to lose at one point, and he did lose it last season. Time to take back what was once yours last season Jemile Weeks.
Weeks burst onto the Major League scene mid 2011 with the A’s. He hit for average, played solid defense, and stole bags at ease. Last season was a completely different story however. Weeks hit what some like to call the sophomore slump. His average was cut by 80 points from above .300 to around .220. His on base percentage dropped and consequently his stolen bases dropped. Coupled with that was the fact that he brought his offensive frustration into the infield on defense and made costly errors.
If that wasn’t all for Jemile in 2012 he also was eventually demoted to Triple-A Sacramento, a move unthinkable at the beginning of the season. He made his displeasure with the move well known to the media making remarks claiming he was a star, he didn’t perform that badly, and that he’d be back soon. These comments did not sit well with the A’s fans as the chemistry the team built was being questioned by a second year player.
However, maybe the fact that he did not get called back up to start, but rather come off the bench sporadically at best made Weeks reassess his stance. Maybe the fact that the A’s won the AL West crown without him planted the motivation to go to work to better himself in the offseason in his head. Maybe he figured out the necessary adjustments in the offseason and got his act together.
Weeks has only played three games this spring, but in those three he has looked like the 2011 Jemile Weeks. He has five hits in eight at bats with a walk, a home run, and two doubles. He was caught stealing once, but the fact that he was even on base to attempt a steal has to be a good sign for A’s fans to see. He also added a sac fly for good measure.
With the second base job up for grabs this spring between Weeks, Scott Sizemore, and Grant Green one of these players will have to grab the opportunity with both hands and take it. Sizemore is still getting adjusted to Major League pitching after missing all of last season to injury. Green has not played in a regular season big league game yet so he may not yet be ready to take the job either. With the way Weeks is playing do not be surprised to see him named the opening day second baseman. It’s his time to shine. So far he is acting like he wants it like never before.