PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Jemile Weeks and Shane Peterson were the latest casualties as the Oakland Athletics trimmed their roster down to 36 players. The team is expected to bring all 36 to the Bay Area for the exhibition series against the San Francisco Giants.
Weeks was entrenched in a battle for the second base job. He got off to an electric start this spring, but hurt his shoulder on March 1 against the Giants and missed some playing time. Prior to the injury, Weeks was hitting, .545 with a .538 on-base percentage, one homer, and two doubles. After he missed the 10 games, he hit .250 (4 for 16) with no extra-base hits and one RBI. He did enough to make it a very difficult decision.
"Sometimes you just have to make tough cuts, and that was a tough cut," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
After Weeks returned from injury, he had a tough time getting in the lineup with the way Eric Sogard, Adam Rosales, and Jed Lowrie have been playing this spring. It's also important for the team to get Scott Sizemore a lot of playing time because he missed the 2012 season and is returning to second base after playing third in 2011.
Sizemore hit 11 homers and drove in 53 runs in just 97 game for the A's in 2011. He did so while learning how to play a new position. The team had very high hopes for him, but he tore his ACL during the first full squad workout in 2012.
"I've said all along too with [Sizemore] we're going to give him a little bit more rope and some more playing time based on the fact he hasn't played in a while," Melvin said. "It was a difficult cut, but one where we have to cut our numbers down at some point."
Weeks exploded onto the scene in his rookie campaign and was labeled untouchable by the A's front office. In 2011 he led all Major League rookies with a .303 average and eight triples. He slumped in his sophomore season and ended up getting optioned to Triple-A. Weeks hit .221 in 118 games and his .304 slugging percentage was the lowest in the majors and the second lowest in Oakland history.
"It was tough, he's had a good spring," Melvin said. "Certainly offensively more than defensively at this point. He's worked very hard on his defense and will continue to work on his defense."
Peterson leaves a strong impression:
Meanwhile, Peterson can leave camp with his head held high. He played in all of the A's spring games and really left a strong impression.
"Peterson had an unbelievable camp," Melvin said. "For a guy we hadn't seen, all the coaches raved about him."
In a team-leading 26 games, Peterson hit .408 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run, seven RBI, and five walks. He played all over the outfield, and never appeared in a game at first base, though he is comfortable there as well.
"I feel like I'm in a tough spot because I knew coming into camp the situation," Peterson said. "I'm still disappointed getting sent down. Obviously everyone's goal is to make the team, but it's hard to be disappointed after the spring I had."
Peterson, 25, said his goal coming into camp was to make a strong first impression. He definitely did so. He will likely be the first up if any of the A's outfielders or Brandon Moss get injured.