Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

March 7, 2013
For A's at 2B, Sizemore back in, Weeks still out

PHOENIX -- Jemile Weeks is experiencing a stall in his attempt to compete for the A's second base job and rebound from a down season in 2012. Weeks is nursing a bruised right shoulder that he suffered when he was upended at second base on a play against the Giants last Friday and won't play until this weekend at the earliest.

Weeks was off to a good start with the bat this spring, hitting .545 (6-for-11) with a home run and five RBIs before the injury. He hasn't played since Friday and did not participate this morning in cut-off and relay drills with the other A's infielders.

"I think it was bad timing," Weeks said. "But it's part of the game, so it's something I have to deal with and just face like a man, and try to get back as fast as possible."

Weeks began last season as the A's everyday second baseman after a promising rookie season in 2011 but hit .221 in 118 games and was sent down to Triple-A late in the year and left off Oakland's playoff roster.

He says last season was a "learning year" and that he came into spring refreshed and ready to try to win the job back. The A's have a lot of depth in the middle of the infield and second base looks like an open competition between Weeks and Scott Sizemore with Jed Lowrie and potentially Adam Rosales in the mix as well.

Manager Bob Melvin said the A's are shooting for Sunday for Weeks' return but are "not 100 percent sure." An X-ray on Weeks' shoulder came back negative, Melvin said.

"I don't think the timing's ever great," Melvin said of the injury. "But if you are going to get injured in spring, earlier is better than later."

Sizemore, who missed several days after being hit on the back of his left hand by a pitch last Sunday, is back in the A's lineup today, playing second base and batting ninth.

"The swelling's down, it doesn't seem to be a much of a mark there at this point," Melvin said. "It's a matter of him gripping the bat and feeling comfortable swinging it. He wasn't the day before the off day (Wednesday) and he is today."

* Closer Grant Balfour, recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday. Melvin said Balfour was "a tiny bit sore at the end, but that's the same as he was the time before.

"To this point, everything is going on schedule (for an Opening Day return) if not maybe slightly ahead," Melvin said.

* Jarrod Parker threw to hitters Wednesday and looked "really good," Melvin said. Parker is working on a two-seam fastball this spring and impressed Melvin by throwing it inside and getting ground balls from several hitters.

"He's got several pitches that are swing-and-miss pitches, and at times his pitch counts can go up," Melvin said. "If he can get that, get a guy to put a ball in play earlier in the count in times, it might cut down on his pitch counts and keep him in games longer.

* Reliever Michael Ynoa, whose spring was delayed by a case of chicken pox, faced hitters on a back field earlier this week. Melvin said Ynoa threw all his pitches and the A's will decide whether Ynoa needs another session like that before getting into a game.

* The A's lineup for today's game against a Seattle Mariners split squad:

CF Crisp
SS Nakajima
RF Reddick
DH Cespedes
1B Moss
LF Young
3B Lowrie
C Norris
2B Sizemore

SP Milone

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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