PHOENIX — Jemile Weeks has gone from one of the favored few to one of the early exits at the A's camp.
Weeks and outfielder Shane Peterson both were sent to Triple-A Sacramento after Sunday's game.
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.
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 1? weeks' 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," 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 worked against him.
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 is out of options and 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. He's batting .538 and has hits in 15 of his past 21 at-bats. Sending Sogard down — now that would be tough.
NORRIS GOES DEEP AGAIN
Derek Norris is stuck in a platoon behind the plate with John Jaso, but he's doing his best to unstick himself.
Norris homered off the Dodgers' Josh Beckett in the third inning, his fifth home this spring. That's the team high, and four of the five have come off right-handed pitchers.
Jaso, a left-handed batter, is supposed to get most of the at-bats against right-handed pitching. Melvin has said it won't be a strict platoon, and that the right-handed Norris would get a shot against some right-handers.
Norris has already beefed up his expectations based on what he's done this spring, which includes a .382 batting average and taking excess movement out of his swing.
"Any extra movement (in his swing) will set me back," Norris said. "When they give you an opportunity, you've got to perform."
Jaso hasn't had a great spring (.226 with no homers), which can only help Norris' case, but he has a history as a high on-base player with a knack for clutch hits, so that is on his side.
"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."
The longest spring continues for Hiroyuki Nakajima.
He went hitless in three at-bats, stretching his hitless streak to 21 at-bats including 0 for 20 in his past eight starts.