OAKLAND – It appears an intriguing shift could be in the works for Jemile Weeks’ career.
Weeks, the second baseman who once was viewed as the face of the A’s franchise, saw action in center field for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. It’s the first time the 2008 first-round draft pick has played the outfield in his professional career, but it makes sense if the A’s decide to make it a regular experiment.
Weeks has fallen off the radar since being demoted to the minors in August of last season. He has lost out on playing time at second base in Sacramento to Grant Green, the A’s 2009 first-round pick who is hitting .320.
Michael Choice, another highly touted prospect at Sacramento, is a natural center fielder but he’s been playing the corners of late, opening up potential playing time for Weeks in center.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said Sunday he didn’t know the exact plan for Weeks, but he thinks the speedy switch hitter has the tools to handle center field.
“My understanding was he was all on board for it, and it might have even been his idea,” Melvin said. “Choice has been playing the corners here as of late. There’s a fit for it because there’s quite a log jam trying to get (Weeks) consistent at-bats at second base. We’ll see how it plays out, but athletically, he definitely has the skill set to do that.”
When the A’s drafted Weeks 12th overall in the 2008 draft, there was thought within the organization that center field might eventually be his best position.
Catcher John Jaso (left palm abrasion) remained out of the lineup Sunday, with Stephen Vogt drawing the start behind the plate for the series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jaso hasn’t started a game since June 20.
“He was a little bit better again today,” Melvin said. “He’s available off the bench, but he’s still not ready for a start.”
Melvin was asked if the disabled list is being considered for Jaso.
“We haven’t used him, and we would be able to backdate it,” the manager said. “But the reason we’re going the direction we are right now is we’re hoping he doesn’t have to go on the DL.”
St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams was a late scratch Sunday due to food poisoning, with Ty Wigginton taking his place in the lineup.