Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks accepts outright minor-league assignment from Boston Red Sox

Second baseman Jemile Weeks has accepted his outright minor-league assignment from the Boston Red Sox and will report to Triple-A Pawtucket, according to a Tweet by MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo.

Jemile, the younger brother of Mariners infielder Rickie Weeks, is in his second season in the Red Sox organization, having been acquired from Baltimore last August in the deal that sent Kelly Johnson to the Orioles.

Weeks had been designated for assignment on July 29 when the Red Sox activated infielder Josh Rutledge, who was acquired from the Angels in the deal that sent Shane Victorino out west. He has spent most of this season with the PawSox, hitting .203 in 53 games there, and went 3-for-9 with one RBI in three games in the majors after being called up on July 26.

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Jemile Weeks clears waivers, heads to Pawtucket

Second baseman Jemile Weeks cleared waivers and has been sent by the Red Sox to Triple-A Pawtucket, per the Providence Journal.

Weeks played in three games for Boston after his recent promotion and managed three hits in nine at-bats.

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Jemile Weeks making most of his chance with Boston Red Sox

Back in 2011, Jemile Weeks was one of the most promising young players in baseball.

As a 24-year old second baseman for the Oakland Athletics, Weeks played in 96 games in 2011, hitting for a .303 batting average (.340 on-base percentage), with 26 doubles, eight triples, and two home runs, while stealing 22 bases.

However, 2012 was a different story for Weeks.

Following his amazing rookie season, Weeks hit just .221 (.305 OBP), with 15 doubles and 16 steals in 118 games.

Flash forward to 2015, Weeks has played just 25 games in the Majors since 2012, and is hitting a meager .207 for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.

On July 26, the Boston Red Sox 40-man roster included Dustin Pedroia, Brock Holt, Xander Bogaerts, Garin Cecchini, Deven Marrero, Sean Coyle, and Travis Shaw.

To put it simply, Weeks’ chances of getting back to the Majors looked bleak.

However, an injury to Pedroia landed him on the disabled list and Red Sox manager, John Farrell, elected to recall a struggling Weeks from Triple-A.

Despite being called-up, there was no reason for fans to expect to see much of Weeks in Boston. The Pedroia injury meant that super-utility man, Holt, would assume the second base role until Pedroia came back.

However, during Sunday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Holt injured his left knee after a first-inning single. Holt ended up leaving the game in the sixth.
The same day that Weeks was called-up, he was called into action. Weeks took advantage, putting together two solid at-bats and collecting a single, going 1-for-2 in the Red Sox 11-1 dismantling of the Tigers.

As a precautionary measure, Holt was kept out of the Red Sox lineup against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night as well.

Weeks was getting his first Major League start of 2015.

Despite the Red Sox 10-8 defeat, the blame cannot be put on Weeks.

Weeks went 2-for-4 and drove in a run at the plate while playing spectacular defense at second base, even making a sparkling play to steal a base hit away from Melky Cabrera in the top of the eighth inning.

Will Weeks hit .500 all year long?


Will Weeks see a majority of the second base duties for Boston for the remainder of 2015?

Most likely not.

However, Weeks should get some playing time with Pedroia on the DL and Holt nursing a sore left knee.

Look at this as Weeks’ audition. Not only for the Red Sox, but for the entire MLB.

Weeks is still only 28-years old, and the speed that made him such a threat to steal bases in 2011 hasn’t left him.

A solid showing during his stint in the Majors, however long it may be, could help turn Weeks’ career around.

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Red Sox Recall Infielder Jemile Weeks

BOSTON — The Red Sox bolstered their infield depth Sunday, recalling second baseman Jemile Weeks from Triple-A Pawtucket. Weeks, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles last August, played in 14 games for the Red Sox last season.

The 28-year-old has spent the bulk of this season with the PawSox, posting a .207/.307/.310 slash line with one home run and five RBIs in 51 games at Triple-A. To make room for Weeks on the 25-man roster, reliever Noe Ramirez was optioned to Pawtucket. “(Weeks can play) all over the infield, as well as, he’s played a couple of games in the outfield,” manager John Farrell said before Sunday’s matchup with the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. “Kind of a super-utility that gives us some flexibility all around the diamond.”

That flexibility will be necessary for the Red Sox, who on Saturday learned they’d be without second baseman Dustin Pedroia for at least the next two weeks. Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list after reaggravating his injured hamstring.

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Jemile Weeks is man of many gloves

JUPITER, Fla. – Jemile Weeks had never played third base in his life before Sunday. He’d played shortstop in high school and second base in college, and he’d played almost exclusively second base since he was drafted. His appearances at shortstop and in the outfield both in the minor leagues and majors amounted merely to cameos.

But when Red Sox prospect Sean Coyle took a ground ball off the face in batting practice on Sunday, a contusion that required three stitches, Weeks was notified just before the game that he’d be starting – and playing almost the entire game – at a brand-new position. He looked a little bit hesitant early in the game, as might be expected, but he started a double play in the seventh inning.

“The visuals have to be quicker,” he said. “There’s less movement than at shortstop. What you have to do is set your eyes early. At short, you have more momentum going to the ball, so it’s more of a set position at third. It can be different because you’re used to the movement, but once you knock that out and focus on seeing the ball, you can make it work.”

The No. 12 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Weeks saw his career stall after a rough season with the Oakland Athletics in 2012. He’s come to the plate just 54 times in the major leagues in the two seasons since, instead spending the last two seasons with the Triple-A affiliates of Oakland and Baltimore, respectively. He came over to the Red Sox in an August trade for Kelly Johnson and wound up playing a handful of games in the middle infield after Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt went on the shelf.

In Weeks, the Red Sox saw a potential reserve at second base, shortstop and center field with an advanced plate approach, as evidenced by a minor-league career that has seen him compile almost as many walks (241) as strikeouts (282). With Triple-A Norfolk last season, he drew 37 walks while striking out 30 times in more than 250 plate appearances.

Third base never was supposed to be on the table – but Weeks was never going to turn down a chance to make an impression at another position, not in an organization with a history of utilizing versatile utilitymen.

A year ago, it was Holt who emerged out of nowhere into a key contributor, playing seven different positions and spending the entire summer hitting leadoff. Two years before that, it was Pedro Ciriaco who wound up playing more than 75 games thanks to his ability to fill in almost anywhere on the field.

“They told me to be prepared for more of a superutility type of role – mostly in the middle infield,” he said. “I never heard too much about third base, but I’ve been getting my work in over there just in case. Every now and then, I stop over there.”

“He’s doing everything we’ve asked,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s swinging the bat well. He’s running the bases aggressively and making good decisions. He’s an interesting guy because of the versatility and the overall athleticism.”

Whatever it takes to stick – or to be in line for a callup if a need arises – is what Weeks wants to do.

“This is a championship team, in my opinion,” he said, “so I’m OK with my role. I’m just here to be able to show people what I believe can be done. I feel I can help any team – and especially this team right here – in whatever role I need to play.”

Hurlers shine: Wade Miley issued two walks and allowed three hits but navigated through three scoreless innings in a 3-0 win for the Red Sox over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium.

“I think I hung maybe one breaking ball a little high today,” he said. “For the most part, my changeup was where I wanted it to be. I didn’t throw any curveballs. The slider, it was pretty much there.”

Matt Barnes closed out the win with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings against the St. Louis reserves. He touched 97 on the radar gun, another outing that hinted at the impact he could have as a major-league reliever either out of the gate or later this season.

“How can you not like the stuff?” Farrell said. “It’s premium stuff that he’s shown in two outings. He got his first taste of pitching out of the bullpen last September. That’s not to say we’re looking to change his role and how we view him. We’ll take it as it comes right now.”

A Luke Montz double scored prospect Sam Travis with the go-ahead run in the win. Mookie Betts singled home Weeks with an insurance run later in the inning.

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Red Sox’s Jemile Weeks Clears Waivers, Outrighted To Triple-A Pawtucket

The Boston Red Sox have opened up a spot on their 40-man roster. Infielder/outfielder Jemile Weeks cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced Monday.

The Red Sox’s 40-man roster now includes 39 players. Weeks was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles along with Ivan De Jesus on Aug. 30 in exchange for Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar. The 27-year-old appeared in 14 games with Boston, hitting .308 (8-for-26) with three RBIs, two stolen bases, six runs scored and a .406 on-base percentage. He played second base and shortstop. Weeks, a first-round pick (12th overall) in 2012, gives the Red Sox some organizational depth.

He could compete for a utility role in spring training if he sticks around with the organization this offseason. Monday’s transaction enables the Red Sox to add a player without a corresponding roster move. The Sox needed to make corresponding roster moves a couple of weeks ago after signing Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Juan Francisco and Ryan Lavarnway both were designated for assignment, with Francisco eventually becoming a free agent after he was non-tendered and Lavarnway being claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Red Sox: Jemile Weeks worth a shot in 2015

As the Boston Red Sox roster shakes out, they will have plenty of options for their bench. Right now, Brock Holt appears to be the only lock to make the Red Sox bench as a utility man leaving three spots up for grabs. Acquired from Baltimore along with Ivan Dejesus Jr. in exchange for Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar, Jemile Weeks may be able to fill one of these bench spots.

At the time, the deal flew under the radar, but it could come back to help the Red Sox in the long run. Weeks played well late in the season collecting eight hits in 26 at-bats for the big league club while drawing four walks and swiping two bags in 14 games. This may not sound like much, but he is just a few years removed from a strong rookie campaign where he hit .303/.340/.421 while swiping 22 bags for the Oakland Athletics back in 2011.

A second baseman by trade may not sound too appealing to the Red Sox, but Weeks has added to his versatility. In addition to playing second, Weeks can also play shortstop and center field effectively.

For the Red Sox, Weeks would definitely be a nice compliment to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop as Weeks hits lefties and righties alike equally as well. It would be easy to insert Weeks into the lineup on any given day because he has a decent shot at getting on base against anyone.

Stealing 40 bases on 56 attempts in 240 MLB games, Weeks doubles as a pinch runner. When he is not in the lineup, he is a great guy to have on the bench since he is an upgrade running the bases over most guys on the Red Sox with the exception of Mookie Betts of course.

Even though the Red Sox will likely be big spenders this offseason, they could definitely save some money by going with a cheap, versatile bench. Having young guys like Jemile Weeks earning the league minimum on the bench would be a smart move for the club so they can give the money to the guys who are out there every single day. Not to mention Weeks is not half-bad either.

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Jemile Weeks Involved In Crazy Play In Red Sox’s Loss To Pirates (Video)

Not too many things have gone right for the Boston Red Sox this season. The Sox staged a late comeback against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night, but their rally was killed in part by a strange play involving pinch runner Jemile Weeks.

As Weeks took his lead off third base with nobody out, Will Middlebrooks hit a chopper directly toward the third base bag that ended up hitting Weeks in the leg as he dove back to the bag. Weeks was in fair territory when the ball hit him, though, so he was ruled out. Pirates closer Mark Melancon retired the next two batters to hand the Sox the loss.

After the game, Weeks explained that he was doing what his coach told him to but didn’t expect the ball to come that close to him. “My natural instinct was to do what I was told and get back on a slow chopper,” Weeks said. “I tried to get back as fast as I could, and I didn’t think it was going to come right on top of me.” Hear more from Weeks in the video above.

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Jemile Weeks at Second As Dustin Pedroia Considers Surgery

The worst team in the AL East tries to avoid a sweep to the best team in the division when the Red Sox and Orioles play each other in a daytime game at Fenway Park today.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia revealed last night that he's been playing with a sore left wrist and hand all season since injuring it during the home opener. Pedroia is out of the lineup today as the Red Sox ponder shutting him down for the rest of the season, and the second baseman could end up having surgery on the wrist.

"I could rest, continue to play or [have] surgery," Pedroia said after last night's loss. "There's three things we can do. We'll come up with a plan the best we can that's best for the team."

Brock Holt -- who is expected to take over the reigns at second base in Pedroia's absence -- will miss his fifth straight game today. Jemile Weeks will replace Pedroia at second today.

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Red Sox Acquire Jemile Weeks In Trade With Orioles

The Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles completed a four-player trade Saturday night. The Red Sox acquired infielder/outfielder Jemile Weeks and minor league infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. from the Orioles in exchange for infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson and minor league third baseman Michael Almanzar. Weeks, a first-round draft pick (12th overall) in 2008, once was a highly regarded prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization.

He was traded to the Orioles back in December in the deal that sent then-closer Jim Johnson to the A’s. Weeks hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations, hitting .259 with four homers, 56 RBIs and a .319 on-base percentage in 226 career regular-season games over parts of four seasons.

The 27-year-old, who has spent the majority of 2014 with Triple-A Norfolk, does bring some speed, though, evidenced by his 38 career steals. De Jesus’ name might sound familiar to Red Sox fans because he’s already been involved in two major swaps. De Jesus was acquired by Boston in the August 2012 blockbuster that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 27-year-old then was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the deal that put Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt in Red Sox uniforms. Johnson, meanwhile, will join his fifth and final American League East team. The 32-year-old journeyman was acquired from the New York Yankees just before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in exchange for shortstop Stephen Drew. Johnson appeared in 10 games with Boston, hitting .160 (4-for-25).

Almanzar was selected by the Orioles from the Red Sox over the offseason in the Rule 5 draft. He was returned to the Red Sox on July 1 after playing nine games in the Orioles system. Almanzar, originally signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2007, hit .277 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 49 games this season with Double-A Portland.

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Jemile Weeks Placed On Minor League DL

Weeks was placed on the 7-day DL Friday with a groin strain, CSN Mid-Atlantic's Rich Dubroff reports.

He hasn't really fit into the Orioles' plans this year at the major league level, but he's getting on base at a .394 clip with Triple-A Norfolk. However, he's hitting for basically no power, with just one home run in 55 games.

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Jemile Weeks off to a fast start with Orioles after patiently waiting for his opportunity

BALTIMORE - Jemile Weeks endured a month of bus rides in the minor leagues and a futile trip to Yankee Stadium before finally making his debut with the Baltimore Orioles.

Now that he's back in the majors, Weeks is playing as if he intends to stay.

Since his arrival at Camden Yards on Saturday, the diminutive 27-year-old has twice batted in the leadoff shot, going 3 for 8 with a triple and scoring two runs. His most notable contribution, however, was a 40-foot dribbler down the third-base line.

With runners at first and second and no outs in the 10th inning against Kansas City on Saturday night, the switch-hitting Weeks laid down a sacrifice bunt from the left side. Royals pitcher Danny Duffy rushed his throw in an effort to get the speedy Weeks at first base, and the misfire loaded the bases to set up the game-winning hit by Nick Markakis.

"When you make professional athletes play the game at a pace they're not used to, in any sport, that's where the mistakes happen," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He makes people want to know where he is, what he's doing, what he's getting ready to do."

Weeks is a perfect fit in a batting order filled with power hitters.

"We have a few guys that can steal some bases here and there, but Weeks is definitely a guy pitchers are going to worry about every time he gets on base," catcher Matt Wieters said.

Weeks was obtained in the December trade that sent closer Jim Johnson to Oakland. Although the deal was perceived to be nothing more than a salary dump by the Orioles, Weeks batted .303 with 22 steals over 97 games for the Athletics in 2011.

After he struggled in 2012 and spent the majority of the 2013 season in Oakland's minor league system, Weeks viewed the trade to Baltimore as a chance to get a fresh start.

"It's a lineup that I wanted to be a part of," he said. "I always felt like if I could jump in there and do my part, I could help."

But after batting .171 in spring training, he was sent to Triple-A Norfolk.

During the second week of April, Weeks was told to get to Yankee Stadium as a possible replacement for David Lough, who was experiencing symptoms of a concussion. But Lough avoided the disabled list, and Weeks made a U-turn back to Norfolk.

"I came up obviously with the mindset that if they put me in the lineup, I'll be ready," Weeks said. "I got sent back really quick. But at the same time, I was grateful for the opportunity. It showed me that they had their eyes on me."

Opportunity knocked again after Chris Davis left Friday night's game against Kansas City with a strained oblique. Weeks singled in his first at-bat Saturday night, added a triple and capped his memorable night with pivotal bunt.

"Once they gave me the call, it was a good feeling of excitement to be able to come back to the major leagues and actually be a part of team this time," Weeks said.

"If you're going to be here, you want to contribute. For me to be able to come out here and lead off, and for Buck to have that confidence in me, that meant a lot," he said.

Weeks was the designated hitter in both games, but that doesn't mean he can't do his part defensively. Although he's a second baseman by trade, he also played left field and centre while with Norfolk.

For now, the Orioles like his ability to get on base and the potential to do something once he gets there.

Baltimore closer Tommy Hunter, a teammate of Weeks on the 2006 Team USA squad, said, "The guy can handle the bat. He's fast. A little sparkplug. He's going to play well for this team. We're just waiting to see a steady dose of him."

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Jemile Weeks excited to contribute quickly for Orioles

BALTIMORE — Jemile Weeks viewed the trade as good news, even if scores of Orioles fans did not.

The 27-year-old infielder came to Baltimore from Oakland during the offseason in exchange for closer Jim Johnson. The Orioles sent Johnson, an All-Star who posted back-to-back 50-save seasons in 2012 and 2013, to the Athletics and got a former first-round draft pick who had played in only eight games last year.

There was not exactly the warmest welcome for a guy like Weeks, who didn't make the club coming out of spring training and started the season with Class-AAA Norfolk. His perseverance paid off last weekend, however, when the Orioles promoted him and stuck him in the starting lineup as their designated hitter.

Weeks' debut was a good one — he went 2 for 4 with a triple and a run Saturday in Baltimore's 3-2 win over Kansas City. He then found himself in the same spot Sunday and went 1 for 4 with another run.

Contributing and playing in the bigs -- that's all Weeks wants right now.

"I've been trying to take things as they come," Weeks said before Sunday's game. "Once they gave me the call, it was a good feeling of excitement to be able to come back to the major leagues and actually be a part of team this time."

At 5 feet, 9 inches, and 165 pounds (maybe), Weeks doesn't strike a powerful pose among his fellow Orioles in the lineup . But he batted in the lead-off spot against Kansas City, and Baltimore is banking on Week's speed to be an offensive asset when he's used.

"Jemile has some versatility," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "I know from trying to defend him in the past, he's got a more little pop than people think he does. He's strong. And he makes people hurry in the infield.

"I've said many times, when you make professional athletes play the game at a pace they're not used to, in any sport, that's where the mistakes happen. And he makes people want to know where he is, what's he doing, what's he getting ready to do."

Weeks could see more playing time given the Orioles' current health issues. With first baseman Chris Davis on the disabled list, shortstop J.J. Hardy dealing with back spasms and a hamstring strain, and rehabbing third baseman Manny Machado nearing his return, it's possible Weeks works his way into a rotation of infielders and players who can DH.

That's fine with Weeks, who said he knows what he offers to the Orioles.

"I knew I wanted to take this season and improve and become the player I know I can become," Weeks said. "I knew if I did those things, the game would take of itself."

They almost did a little earlier than last weekend.

Baltimore turned to Weeks for its April 9 game in New York to replace David Lough when it appeared Lough was hurt. But Lough wound up playing that night, and Weeks headed back to Norfolk despite being in Yankee Stadium hours before the game started.

Weeks hit .296 with four doubles, three triples and seven RBIs in 17 games for the Tides before his promotion.

"He’s a good baseball player, a solid baseball player," said Tommy Hunter, who took over Johnson's role as the Orioles' closer after the trade. "He showed it in spring training. He had a hell of a spring, just the cards weren’t in his favor. He’s going to contribute. He’s going to play well for this team. We’re just waiting to see a steady dose of him."

Hunter wasn't shocked to see Weeks contribute right away. He remembered Weeks as a sure-handed second baseman and teammate in the 2006 World University Championship. Hunter and Weeks helped Team USA, which didn't lose a game in the international series, win the title along with current big-league stars such as Pedro Alvarez, Ross Detwiler and David Price.

Weeks said already knowing some of the Orioles — Hunter with Team USA, going against Matt Wieters in college when he played for Georgia Tech and Weeks for Miami — helped him with making the transition to a new organization.

Then came his first taste of playing time. And success. And the notion of good things to come with an offense with great expectations.

"It's a lineup that I wanted to be a part of," Weeks said. "I knew what this lineup would probably look like before the season started. I always felt like if I could jump in there and do my part, I felt like I could help. Hopefully it shows."

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Jemile Weeks makes solid first impression with Orioles

BALTIMORE — Jemile Weeks endured a month of bus rides in the minor leagues and a futile trip to Yankee Stadium before finally making his debut with the Baltimore Orioles.

Now that he’s back in the majors, Weeks is playing as if he intends to stay.

Since his arrival at Camden Yards on Saturday, the diminutive 27-year-old has twice batted in the leadoff shot, going 3 for 8 with a triple and scoring two runs. His most notable contribution, however, was a 40-foot dribbler down the third-base line.

With runners at first and second and no outs in the 10th inning against Kansas City on Saturday night, the switch-hitting Weeks laid down a sacrifice bunt from the left side. Royals pitcher Danny Duffy rushed his throw in an effort to get the speedy Weeks at first base, and the misfire loaded the bases to set up the game-winning hit by Nick Markakis.

“When you make professional athletes play the game at a pace they’re not used to, in any sport, that’s where the mistakes happen,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He makes people want to know where he is, what he’s doing, what he’s getting ready to do.”

Weeks is a perfect fit in a batting order filled with power hitters.

“We have a few guys that can steal some bases here and there, but Weeks is definitely a guy pitchers are going to worry about every time he gets on base,” catcher Matt Wieters said.

Weeks was obtained in the December trade that sent closer Jim Johnson to Oakland. Although the deal was perceived to be nothing more than a salary dump by the Orioles, Weeks batted .303 with 22 steals over 97 games for the Athletics in 2011.

After he struggled in 2012 and spent the majority of the 2013 season in Oakland’s minor league system, Weeks viewed the trade to Baltimore as a chance to get a fresh start.

“It’s a lineup that I wanted to be a part of,” he said. “I always felt like if I could jump in there and do my part, I could help.”

But after batting .171 in spring training, he was sent to Triple-A Norfolk.

During the second week of April, Weeks was told to get to Yankee Stadium as a possible replacement for David Lough, who was experiencing symptoms of a concussion. But Lough avoided the disabled list, and Weeks made a U-turn back to Norfolk.

“I came up obviously with the mindset that if they put me in the lineup, I’ll be ready,” Weeks said. “I got sent back really quick. But at the same time, I was grateful for the opportunity. It showed me that they had their eyes on me.”

Opportunity knocked again after Chris Davis left Friday night’s game against Kansas City with a strained oblique. Weeks singled in his first at-bat Saturday night, added a triple and capped his memorable night with pivotal bunt.

“Once they gave me the call, it was a good feeling of excitement to be able to come back to the major leagues and actually be a part of team this time,” Weeks said.

“If you’re going to be here, you want to contribute. For me to be able to come out here and lead off, and for Buck to have that confidence in me, that meant a lot,” he said.

Weeks was the designated hitter in both games, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do his part defensively. Although he’s a second baseman by trade, he also played left field and center while with Norfolk.

For now, the Orioles like his ability to get on base and the potential to do something once he gets there.

Baltimore closer Tommy Hunter, a teammate of Weeks on the 2006 Team USA squad, said, “The guy can handle the bat. He’s fast. A little sparkplug. He’s going to play well for this team. We’re just waiting to see a steady dose of him.”

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Jemile Weeks Recalled Saturday

Weeks was recalled by the Orioles on Saturday, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

Weeks will provide depth in the Orioles' infield until Manny Machado (knee) is activated from the 15-day DL. The Orioles are also in need of an extra position player with Chris Davis (oblique) potentially day-to-day with an injury suffered Friday.

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Jemile Weeks Get Called Up, But Sent Back Down

Baltimore Orioles OF David Lough (head) passed concussion tests and was cleared, so he will not be going on the disabled list. 2B Jemile Weeks, who was with the team, will be sent back to Triple-A Norfolk.

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Jemile Weeks Sent Down

Orioles optioned RHP Kevin Gausman, 2B Jemile Weeks and LHP T.J. McFarland to Triple-A Norfolk.
Gausman, the former fourth overall pick by the Orioles, was forced to the minors by the team's abundance of starting pitching at the major league level. He'll be back with the O's at some point this summer.

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Jemile Weeks taking changes in stride

SARASOTA, Fla.— In early December, Jemile Weeks' baseball career was thrown upside down.

He was traded away from the only organization he had ever known, the Oakland Athletics, and sent to the Orioles for one of the franchise's most popular players, closer Jim Johnson, in what was immediately deemed a salary dump.

Although the 27-year-old second baseman viewed it as a new opportunity, the external pressure was once again descending on Weeks, a 2008 first-rounder who grew up playing in, and around, the shadow of his All-Star big brother, Rickie.

But Weeks didn't have time to get caught up in the hoopla; he was too busy trying to figure out how to feed 1,000 people and how he could borrow a bounce house or two.

"That was the gist of where my mind was," said Weeks, who is competing for the Orioles' starting second base job, but likely will begin the season at Triple-A. "I knew about the trade, but I already know how media and other interactions work, so I really don't pay attention to it. I tend to stay busy."

A month before the deal, his offseason schedule got particularly complicated when he announced at a periodic family meeting — yes, two pro ballplayers and a community-relations professional sister still have occasional family meetings with their parents — that he wanted to host a community event for charity near where he grew up in Orlando, Fla.

Never mind that Weeks had never attempted such an event or that Christmas was a month away. That was what he wanted to do. And so it was going to happen.

"With my own hands, I reached out to people I know and my sister did, along with my mom's church," Weeks said. "I just phoned friends. I got the bounce houses and the food, pizzas and ice cream, and asked for live performances from people I knew."

Simple as that.

On Dec. 21, Weeks and his newly formed non-profit organization, WeFam LLC, hosted "Christmas on the Boulevard" at a high school in Eatonville, Fla., which is known as the oldest black municipality in the United States.

Weeks was expecting about 400 to 700 people for the free, community-building event that featured face painters, an inspirational rapper, dance demonstrations and presentation poet Shawn Welcome.

More than 1,000 people attended, and Weeks and his volunteers — who included his brother and other Orlando-area professional athletes — fed them all. They also gave out more than 700 toys to children.

"It's just something I wanted to do for the community back home," Weeks said.

It's not unusual for athletes to give back to their communities. But it is fairly rare for someone who isn't yet established in a sport to attempt to make such an impact — and do it single-handedly, without fanfare. And accomplish it so quickly.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, for one, wasn't surprised by the gesture. Hardy was part of a double-play tandem with Weeks' brother in Milwaukee for years.

"It's just that kind of family," Hardy said. "It's the way Rickie is and I'm just getting to know Jemile a little bit, but the way he is too. The family is just a great family."

Weeks' father, Richard Sr., spent parts of two decades working for a food bank in Orlando before switching gears to operate collegiate and youth baseball programs. Weeks' mother owned a cleaning company when her kids were young, but she is now a full-time pastor in Orlando. The couple divorced when Weeks was a pre-teen, but the parents raised their children together, stressing faith, family and community.

"My mom and dad always instilled in us that we don't forget where we come from, no matter how high you get in your career or how successful you become," said Kaisha Weeks, the family's middle child, who was a track star at Southern and is now a communications-public relations specialist.

All three of the Weekses' children helped out at the food bank where their father worked. Weeks was about seven when he first understood the importance of giving back. But his sister said he really was hit with that spirit a few years ago — around when he debuted with the A's in 2011.

That was a whirlwind season for Weeks.

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Jemile Weeks brings new dimension to Baltimore lineup

SARASOTA, Fla. — Jemile Weeks could be the piece that the Baltimore Orioles are looking for to make a run at a division title in 2014.

After finishing third in the notoriously tough American League East a season ago, the Orioles were one of the busiest teams in baseball this offseason.

In a lineup full of power hitters such as Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, Weeks brings valuable speed necessary to capitalize on the production from the big bats in the heart of the order.

“I feel like I can strongly contribute on the offensive side,” Weeks said, sitting at a table in the team’s spring training dining room in Sarasota. “The speed is definitely going to be one of my bigger things. Stealing bases, getting in scoring position, and scoring a lot of runs.”

A season ago, as a member of the Sacramento River Cats, Oakland’s triple-A affiliate, Weeks finished with a .376 on-base percentage, and 17 steals in 19 attempts.

The former first-round pick out of the University of Miami will also bolster an already exceptional Orioles defensive unit.

Weeks has tremendous range at second base and is working on his efficiency this spring training to ensure that he is able to make every play possible in the field. Additionally, having spent time at shortstop and in the outfield, the former Oakland Athletic possesses a valuable tool for any major leaguer – versatility.

“I ended up playing two games in centre field last year in Oakland,” Weeks said. “Shortstop is the one thing I haven’t accomplished, but I feel really comfortable over there. I tried it last year and the experiment went pretty well. It would be something I’m open to down the road.”

Moving from a title-contending team in Oakland to another potential playoff team in Baltimore has been a smooth transition for the switch-hitting Weeks.
Entering spring training, the 27-year old had pre-existing friendships with a handful of teammates, including Julio Borbon and Tommy Hunter. Additionally, Alex Gonzalez and J.J. Hardy have played with Jemile’s older brother Rickie of the Milwaukee Brewers.

“The baseball world becomes small. The longer you play, the smaller it becomes,” Weeks said. “There were a few guys I was comfortable with coming in, and then the team formed and meshed well together.”

Also easing in the transition is the location of the Orioles’ spring training facilities.

Playing with the Athletics, Weeks spent his first three spring training camps in Phoenix, AZ. Being in Sarasota with the Orioles has allowed Weeks to feel more at ease.

“It’s different for me, but in a positive way,” said Weeks. “Family is close by, and things are more familiar for me. Being with a new team in a place that I’m somewhat comfortable in, I think it takes away that jittery edge.”

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Jemile Weeks gets off to a nice start

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Baltimore second baseman Jemile Weeks made a quick impression during the Orioles’ 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the Grapefruit League opener Friday.

Weeks, who was acquired in December from Oakland in the Jim Johnson trade, led off the game with a double to left field off former Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard, then scored two batters later on Steve Clevenger’s one-out single.

In his next at-bat in the second inning, Weeks drew a walk from Heath Bell, stole second base, moved to third on a single by Francisco Peguero and later scored on a wild pitch.

Weeks said seeing his name atop the batting order for the Orioles’ first Grapefruit League game was “a confidence builder.”

“It’s good to get out there and let them see some of your capabilities and what you can do on the field,” he said before the game. “It was a good thing for me [to see]. . . . Hopefully it’s an indication of an idea of where they think I might be able to fit in in the lineup, and it also gives them a look of how I handle that position. I’m excited about it, and hopefully we can do this more often than not.”

Weeks is battling Ryan Flaherty for the starting second base job. Weeks has a minor league option remaining, but Manager Buck Showalter said Thursday that will not work against him.

“The sky is the limit with me,” Weeks said. “That’s how I feel. And whatever I put forth and the energy and determination you put into it, you get good results. I think the work we’re putting in here and the way I’m approaching it, I feel like there’s going to be good results.”

He’s had a strong showing already. During the club’s first intrasquad game on Wednesday, Weeks made a nice over-the-shoulder leaping grab of a line drive. In Thursday’s intrasquad game, he singled and walked. After his fourth-inning walk, he also tagged and took second base on a flyball to center.

“[It’s] not only the speed, but being smart with the speed is one of the things I try to pride myself in, from learning over the years how to be smarter and being the speed guy that I’m supposed to be,” Weeks said. “It’s one of my best quality traits.”

Chris Tillman didn’t waste any time reminding everyone why he was the winningest pitcher on the team’s staff last year. He struck out three and gave up just one hit over two innings against a representative Rays lineup.

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Jemile Weeks shows off his skills for Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. – Very quickly, Jemile Weeks has given Buck Showalter some evidence that he could be a real find for the Orioles.

Baltimore groaned in early December when Weeks was the player the Orioles obtained from Oakland for Jim Johnson. A few weeks later, minor league catcher David Freitas was added to the trade.

At the time, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette called it a reallocation of resources.

After the Orioles attempt to sign Grant Balfour collapsed, it took two months before they were able to sign another major free agent, and now they’ve signed three: Suk-min Yoon, Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz.

“Everybody would love to have Jimmy back, but it also allowed us to sign Jimenez, sign Cruz, do some other things and hope we can offset for his loss,” Showalter said.

Weeks made two nice plays in Wednesday’s intrasquad and on Thursday, singled and walked.

“Jemile has a chance to impact us as a second baseman this year,” Showalter said.

“He’s fit right in. He’s a plus runner. A lot of people forget that this guy hit .300 in the big leagues for a season. Not many guys out there on both sides of the ball that have done that,” Showalter said.

“You know it’s there, and it also gives us flexibility with him having an option. We’re not going to use that against him.”

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Orioles newcomer Jemile Weeks eager to show his defensive flexibili

Going over the list of the nearly 60 players who will be in Sarasota, Fla., when major league spring training opens for the Orioles next week and trying to project the club's 25-man roster for Opening Day is a tough task.

However, there are roughly 13 "locks" for the Opening Day roster. After that, there are about six players who have a better chance to make the team than not.
That doesn’t leave much room for everyone else, and it'd be best for two newcomers who are competing for roster spots to show they can play multiple positions in order to have a chance to crack the Opening Day roster.

Second baseman Jemile Weeks, who came to the Orioles from the Oakland Athletics in the trade for closer Jim Johnson in December, and catcher Johnny Monell, acquired in a deal with the San Francisco Giants, both likely will have to show their flexibility.

Showalter loves players with versatility, and he will test players in different positions this spring while formulating his roster. Last season, Steve Pearce earned the final Opening Day roster spot by showing he could play both corner outfield spots and first base while also serving as a right-handed designated hitter.

Ryan Flaherty will enter the spring as the favorite to take over as the starting second baseman, but he might be forced to shift to third base if Manny Machado isn’t fully recovered from offseason left-knee surgery in time for Opening Day.

If Flaherty opens the season as the Opening Day second baseman, Weeks will compete with nonroster utility player Alexi Casilla, who can play second base, shortstop and third base and brings speed on the base paths. Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop could also compete for that spot, but it'd be best for him to continue developing with everyday at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk.

While Weeks has made each of his 209 major league starts at second base, he played center field twice at the big league level and saw action in 25 games there at Triple-A Sacramento last year. He also played 23 games at shortstop last season in Triple-A.

“I see myself as a second baseman first, but I have experience at shortstop, I have experience in the outfield,” Weeks said Saturday at Orioles FanFest. “I feel like I can play anywhere on the field. I do."

As for Monell, he will compete with Mount St. Joseph graduate Steve Clevenger for the backup catcher spot behind Matt Wieters.

The Orioles took a brief look at Clevenger, who was acquired along with Scott Feldman in the trade last July that sent Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs, and he impressed the organization.

Monell’s defensive ability behind the plate has been criticized in the past. Last season at Triple-A Fresno, he played nearly as many games at first base (47) as he did at catcher (48).

“I feel like I’ve got good arm strength, good footwork, I block well, I call a good game,” Monell said Saturday. “It’s just [having] an opportunity to play and come into my own and get that experience and the games under my belt and just play and not worry about anything.

"In the past, I was knocked as far as defensively and all that, I feel like I’ve grown into the position and I’m not a liability back there. I have confidence and I know I can play the position at the big league level. We’ll see what happens.

“Whatever Buck wants me to do, whatever can help the ball club win, I’m up for it,” Monell added.

Clevenger also played 11 games at first base last year in Triple-A and two at third base. Both are left-handed hitters, but Clevenger batted .380 against left-handers last year in the minors.

Regardless, the Orioles need to figure out their future at catcher with Wieters eligible for free agency following the 2015 season. So they need to find out whether Clevenger or Monell, who both have minor league options remaining, can eventually emerge as an everyday player at the position.

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Jemile Weeks wants to contend at second for Orioles

On Dec. 2, the Orioles traded Jim Johnson to Oakland. In return they received Jemile Weeks. Later on, they also got minor league catcher David Freitas.

Because he was traded for Johnson, Weeks will receive lots of attention during spring training. It’s generally assumed that Ryan Flaherty will be the starting second baseman this season, and that he’ll be backed up by Alexi Casilla.

Both Flaherty and Casilla have an advantage. They play multiple positions.

Weeks is a second baseman. He did make two cameo appearances in center field last year for Oakland. In the minor leagues, Weeks played some shortstop last year as well as center field. He made five errors in 23 games at short for Triple-A Sacramento.

Shortstop and center field are not positions of need for the Orioles. Second base is, and that’s where Weeks will be tested.

Weeks has made 24 errors in 213 games at second, but played better there in 2012, his second year than his first.

As for his hitting, Weeks hit .303 in 97 games in 2011. He stole 22 bases, but was thrown out 11 times. In 2012, Weeks batted .221. His basestealing improved. He swiped 16 bases in 21 attempts.

He has 41 doubles in 223 games, but just four home runs. His on-base percentage improved from 2011 to 2012, but last year, Weeks played in just eight games.

Weeks will have to clearly outplay Flaherty and Casilla, two players manager Buck Showalter likes, to make the club.

The odds are that Weeks will start the season at Norfolk and make some appearances in Baltimore during the year.

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Jemile Weeks Opens Up About Being Traded, Baltimore Orioles Future

Former Oakland Athletic Jemile Weeks recently sat down to talk about his upcoming community event, Christmas on the Boulevard, which takes place Dec. 21 in Eatonville, Fla. Afterward, he took some time to discuss being traded to the Baltimore Orioles.

The A's traded Weeks and minor-league catcher David Freitas for closer Jim Johnson on Dec. 3.

In Johnson, Oakland maintains a stout bullpen and efficiently replaces Grant Balfour. The Orioles meanwhile are thought to have made the move to shed Johnson's $10 million-plus contract.

In talking about the trade, Weeks provided some insight into what it's like as a player—hearing the news, the process and more.

Here is a player's perspective, courtesy of Weeks.

Weeks hit .303 his rookie year. But in 2012 his batting average dropped to .221. The A's sent him down near the end of the season, and then he spent the majority of 2013 in Triple-A.

Oakland has several options at second base.

Eric Sogard and Alberto Callaspo finished 2013 as platoon starters, and the A's signed Nick Punto shortly after the season ended. Additionally, Jed Lowrie, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Andy Parrino are options.

Weeks played games at shortstop and in center field with the Sacramento River Cats last season. But the experience likely was intended to get himself back to the majors quicker, rather than increase his trade value.

Weeks is an East Coast resident, so when he found out, it was about 11:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 2. The first call came from A's assistant general manager David Forst. Orioles general manager Dan Duquette called 15 minutes later.

Interestingly, Weeks said the conversation did not involve his role.

[The Orioles] basically told me they were happy to have me, that they look forward to...everything that they have for me, but right now to just go ahead and enjoy the opportunity and we’ll be talking later. So I really haven’t gotten into the logistics of my role yet.

So at this point it's unclear whether Weeks will compete for second base or report to Triple-A. Although it should be assumed that he will at least report to spring training with an opportunity to prove himself in Baltimore.

On if he had heard his own name in trade rumors:

I didn’t really know that I would even be in the position to be traded at this point. I heard certain things about being traded but I wasn’t really up to date on what team I might possibly go to. It all caught me by surprise when they called me

Everyone handles change differently. But the one constant? It fills the affected individual with emotion. Some get angry. Some wonder if they've done anything wrong. Others look forward to the opportunity.

Weeks took it in stride:

"It all caught me by surprise. It was just a feeling of excitement and somewhat surreal for me because it’s a blessing I think, that I didn’t see coming."

He continued, saying that at first he had no words. Instead, he simply reminded himself to be thankful for the opportunity to play in Baltimore.

While we hold professional athletes to a high standard and tack on superstar status, at the end of the day, they're still human. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the first call Weeks made—when he finally found the words—was to his mom and dad.

Like most major life changes, there can be pros and cons. Weeks leaves the team that drafted him, the first and only team he has played for. On the other hand, he now gets a fresh start.

One of the major benefits for Weeks is playing closer to home. His family resides near Orlando, Fla., just a two-hour flight to Baltimore. Best of all, spring training will be held in Sarasota, Fla., a two-hour drive for his family. And if Weeks should find himself in Triple-A (Norfolk, Va.) at any point, it's still closer than Oakland.

Playing in the AL East also means a couple of series against Tampa Bay, too.

Being on the West Coast, it’s very limited how much contact you have with your family. I have a pretty close-knit family, so to be on the East Coast, time frames work out better, distance works out better and the fact they can catch every game whether it be a flight or a drive to Tampa makes a world of difference for us.
The Orioles also play the Milwaukee Brewers in May, so Weeks may get an opportunity to play against his brother, Rickie.

While he gets to see his real family more often, it's difficult leaving the family he made in Oakland.

"[The hardest part is] leaving past relationships with teammates and coaches, as well as getting acquainted with new people, making new relationships and building new relationships," he said.

On a funny note, Weeks joked that moving to Baltimore (and this interview) may get him one step closer to meeting former Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis. Both men went to Miami—or as its alumni and Weeks referred to it, "the U."

In Weeks' first season with the Athletics, he garnered consideration for Rookie of the Year. The next year his batting average fell 80 points. Oakland sent him down to Triple-A, where he remained for much of the rest of his career in the Bay Area.

Fans wanted to know: What happened?

It was definitely more mental than physical. I feel like the physical nature, what I do, is all the same. The speed factor was there. Playing hard was there. Effort was there. The rest was just trying to fit a certain role and you have your ups and downs, and in 2013, I felt like I found myself again. [Now I'm] able to go back and do what I want to do and [I'm] just one year out from a bad season. And now this season going forward, I can progress on being myself again, so I think we can get back to some fun things.

Now he has a new team, and with it, renewed hope of playing in the big leagues soon. But how does he plan to get back there?

"It’s going back to the basics," Weeks said.

Weeks said 2011 was his "purest form of baseball" and described it as a "crash course." In 2012, it was less about just playing baseball and more about fitting into a scheme. His plan is to not worry about schemes or roles and to focus on being himself and playing his game.

Added Weeks: "I think it all made me a better player all around, regardless of what the results were."

One of those relationships Weeks will miss most is the one he had with the fans. It was clear the support he felt stuck with him:

"I just want to say that as far as the fanbase, through my ups and downs, they didn’t waver too much. There’s no real way to repay them back one by one."

Though he may play for a new team on the other side of the country, he hopes to be able to make a return to Oakland, if not just for charity works.

Moving forward, I want everybody to know as far as the fanbase in Oakland, that there’s a lot of charity in my heart that I’m trying to give out. Don’t be surprised if in the future we bring it back to the Bay Area, regardless of my situation.

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O's complete Weeks deal, get Minor League catcher

The Orioles received Minor League catcher David Freitas from the A's on Thursday, completing the Dec. 2 deal that sent closer Jim Johnson to Oakland for second baseman Jemile Weeks.

The 24-year-old Freitas hit .231 with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 90 games for Oakland's Triple-A and Double-A affiliates last season.

Freitas, a right-handed hitter, was originally selected in the 15th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft by the Nationals. He is a .276 career Minor League hitter in four seasons.

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Jemile Weeks Hosts Christmas on the Boulevard Community Event

It may be the MLB offseason, but former Oakland Athletic Jemile Weeks is hard at work in the Orlando, Fla. community he calls home.

While other players are resting comfortably, Weeks—recently traded to the Baltimore Orioles—decided to give his time to others. In conjunction with the town of Eatonville, Fla., Weeks' charity organization WeFam LLC will host "Christmas on the Boulevard."

From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday December 21, residents of Eatonville and members of the surrounding communities are invited to attend Robert Hungerford Prep High School for an afternoon of activities that includes meet and greets with Weeks and other athletes from the area.

In a phone interview, Weeks said that in this day and age, it's important for people to come together through events such as these.

This is a way to show the people that there is still hope, faith and charity in our communities. [The purpose] is to spread charity and love at a time I think it’s needed. That’s the overall goal. It’s really to touch the hearts of the people and give them the feel of hope and charity.

Those who attend will be treated to games, crafts, live entertainment, a raffle and more, all of which are completely free. And of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a tree lighting and the opportunity to sit down with Santa Claus himself.

But Santa won't be the only celebrity in attendance.

In addition to Jolly Ol' Saint Nick, Weeks' older brother Rickie of the Milwaukee Brewers and other athletes with ties to the Orlando area such as Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nick Franklin of the Seattle Mariners will be on hand. In fact, Weeks hopes to have nearly a half-dozen pro athletes stop by the event.

On peers helping him spread the message of hope, Weeks said "I told them I was putting together a charity event and they jumped on board."

About 400 people are expected to attend Christmas on the Boulevard, though Weeks sounded optimistic that the number could be closer to 1,000.

"This is strictly for the people and about the people. It’s about having the purest form of charity being shown and I want them to know what I represent and what WeFam LLC represents," Weeks said.

If successful, Christmas on the Boulevard could become an annual event.

Likewise, he created WeFam LLC to continuously host community events such as this. Weeks intends to use the organization to "empower communities," through the use of sports, entertainment and music.

 If you would like to get involved with Christmas on the Boulevard or WeFam LLC, donations will be possible through Facebook or via telephone. Visit the event's Facebook page for more details.

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Jemile Weeks: "This is probably the best thing for me at this point"

Jemile Weeks is trying to learn as much as he can about Baltimore before joining his new teammates at FanFest and in spring training. But he's going to need more time.

"All I've gotten so far is Charm City and the Birdland thing that's going on," he said last night during our phone conversation. "I've still got to go out and explore the city."

The trade that unfolded Monday night is still fresh, and Weeks joked that he was doing his best to answer my questions and be as helpful as possible despite his limited knowledge of the city, the circumstances, the details.

For example, he has no idea what number he'll be wearing or whether he's going to compete for the starting job at second base. And yes, I asked in that order, because the number thing is a big deal to some folks.

I'm here for you.

"I got the call and I've just been thanking the man above and being thankful for the opportunity. I don't know much beyond that," he said.

"I'm not sure what my role is. We haven't talked about it yet. Anybody who knows me knows I go out there and play as well as I can and try to be the best player I can be. No matter what my role is, they're going to get the same type of effort out of me regardless. It doesn't really concern me what my role will be. I'll just go out there and be the same player."

The Orioles are counting on a better version.

Weeks had a strong rookie campaign, batting .303/.340/.421 with 26 doubles, eight triples and 22 stolen bases in 97 games, but his production slipped so badly, he played in only eight games for the A's this season.

"This is probably the best thing for me at this point," he said. "Hopefully, I'll make the most of it. I'm definitely looking forward to it."

Asked why he hasn't been able to duplicate his rookie success, Weeks replied, "There are a number of things that I could say - this didn't go right or I tried to do this and tried to switch things up. But it all boils down to everything happens for a reason. I learned a lot from it and I think I'll be much better for it going forward. I hope Baltimore enjoys it."

Weeks is in Orlando, where he got the news of the trade that sent closer Jim Johnson to the A's - a trade orchestrated entirely by executive vice president Dan Duquette.

"I talked to my agent and heard there may have been things in the works as far as a trade, but I really didn't know about Baltimore and how the A's were about to pull the trigger. I had no idea," Weeks said. "It kind of caught me by surprise. Obviously, it was late on Monday, about 11-something. It caught me off-guard.

"I think that's why I was shocked as much as I was. I've never been through the process before. I've never seen it done, with my brother (Rickie) in Milwaukee for so long. It's just one of those first-time things. I think it's going to be a learning experience, but I also think it's a good fit for me."

Weeks knows that he's replacing a popular player, one whose departure has upset some Orioles.

"I honestly think it's one of those things where, when a move is made, you just have to go in there and be yourself," said Weeks, who's friends with Danny Valencia from their days at the University of Miami. "Just be a good teammate, be nice to everybody, and be hungry to play. As long as that's accepted, there won't be any lingering problems for me or anything."

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A’s trade Jemile Weeks for Orioles closer Jim Johnson

Earlier in the day, the A’s signed starter Scott Kazmir to a two-year deal worth $22 million, and this evening, the team completed a trade that sent onetime starting second baseman Jemile Weeks and a player to be named to Baltimore for Jim Johnson, who has led the majors in saves in each of the past two seasons.

Both moves hammer home the fact that the A’s won’t be bringing back their own free-agent All-Stars, starter Bartolo Colon and closer Grant Balfour.

Johnson, who saved 50 games last season  and 51 the previous year, is arbitration-eligible and the 30-year-old is expected to earn $10 million plus in 2014. The 2012 All-Star will be a free agent after the season.

Weeks, 24, had a standout rookie year in 2011, batting .303 with 26 doubles, 36 RBIs and 22 steals in 97 games but he never regained that form the following season, was sent down late in 2012 and he did not appear to be in the A’s plans thereafter. He was the team’s first-round pick in the 2008 draft.

The player to be named will not come off the A’s 40-man roster.

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Jemile Weeks Promoted

OAKLAND – With rosters expanding Sunday, the A's called up four players from Triple-A Sacramento: infielders Jemile Weeks and Andy Parrino, reliever Pedro Figueroa and outfielder and 2010 first-round draft pick Michael Choice.

Manager Bob Melvin said none of the call-ups are simply rewards for strong minor-league performances.

"In the position that we're in, when you add guys, they're not just going to sit around," he said. "There's reasons for it."

Weeks returns to Oakland after a trying year in which he was demoted at the end of last season, battled injuries in spring training and played outfield for the first time in his career this season hoping greater versatility would get him back to the majors.

"I learned as I went on," said Weeks, who batted .271 with a .376 on-base percentage and scored 96 runs for Sacramento. "Just tried everything possible to see what my route was to get back here, and here we are."

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Jemile Weeks makes the move to CF, hopes to make move to Oakland

Jemile Weeks has been all over the place. After being drafted by the Oakland A’s in the first round (12th overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, he spent the remainder of that season at Oakland’s class-A affiliate. In 2009, he spent half of the season with the single-A team, the Stockton Ports, and the other half with the double-A Midland RockHounds. 2010 found him with the Arizona rookie league before returning to Midland and, after beginning 2011 with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats, Weeks found himself playing 97 games in Oakland, establishing a fan base that even now, two years later, is going strong. While in the big leagues, he hit .303, stole 22 bases, and was named the American League Rookie of the Month for June.

In 2012, Weeks spent almost the entire season of the major league roster, but struggled, hitting just .221 with 15 doubles, 20 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. And he’s spent the entire 2013 season in Sacramento, so far. He’s played second base, been the designated hitter, and, in the last week, moved into center field – a move that he’s embraced.

“I haven’t been playing much in the field, regularly, so this gives me another opportunity to be out there in the field. It’s a new battle, so it’s something for me to chase after, to get better at, and I enjoy the challenge.”

Even though he’s been DHing for the River Cats, Weeks prefers fielding and is anxious to contribute defensively to the team. And despite a slow start, he’s starting to find his rhythm at the plate and make an offensive impact as well. He hit .317 in April, dipped down to .214 in May, but has climbed back up to .267 on the season. Weeks knows that he has to constantly work to get better, and he’s up to the task.

“Dealing with my hand positioning – going from Spring Training to the minor league season, I’ve had to tweak a few things. I’m just playing with a few things, trying to find that perfect comfort level that I want to be in. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m working myself to get to that point.”

But he’s not just focused on improving in the batter’s box – Weeks recognizes that to make it to the big leagues, he’s got to be exceptional on both sides of the plate.

“I chased after being better defensively this season. I feel like I’ve done that, I’ve gotten better. Now it’s another challenge of getting into a new position, and on top of that still stealing bases, still being ready to hit, staying consistent there. So, I want to improve on my all around game.”

Despite hitting .370 in 11 Spring Training games this year, Weeks was sent to triple-A in Sacramento rather than begin the season on the 25-man major league roster. It’s no secret that his relationship with Oakland’s management has been a bit strained in the past, but he’s hoping to show that he’s willing to contribute to the team in whatever way they might need. When asked whether or not he’s heard from the coaches on a timeline for him to move up, Weeks’ answer is short and to the point:

“I don’t know my plans yet, but I know I’m trying. Whatever they want me to do, I’m trying it, and hopefully that helps in the long run.”

Weeks says that he learned a lot in his time in the majors, about being an everyday big-league ball player. And even though he has yet to spend a full season in Oakland, Weeks made a big impact on the fans, quickly becoming a favorite player. Knowing there are countless Weeks jerseys in the stands, countless fans pulling for him to make his return to the big leagues, means a lot to the 26-year-old.

“Going through what I’ve gone through I think that everybody seems to think that there’s a lot for you to do to be a big-league player, but to know you still have the love and the hearts of the fans, it’s kind of uplifting for a player.”

Here’s to hoping we’ll see you in an Athletics jersey soon, Jemile.

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Jemile Weeks might be switching to center field

Jemile Weeks has fallen out of the A’s plans since a strong rookie season in 2011, spending part of last season and all of this season back at Triple-A, and now he’s trying to learn a new position.

Weeks, who previously played only second base and a little shortstop, is starting to see some action in center field.

A’s manager Bob Melvin indicated to Joe Stiglich of that the new position was Weeks’ idea and “there’s a fit for it because there’s quite a log jam trying to get him consistent at-bats at second base” at Triple-A.

Of course, his defensive position won’t matter much if Weeks doesn’t pick things up offensively. He’s hitting just .264 with two homers and a .748 OPS in 73 games at Triple-A after hitting .221 with two homers and a .609 OPS in 118 games for the A’s last year.

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Jemile Weeks could be traded

Two scouts said the Oakland Athletics are willing to trade 2B Jemile Weeks, who has spent the entire season with Triple-A Sacramento, but their asking price is high. Weeks has seen a lot of action as the designated hitter, with 2B Grant Green receiving the bulk of the playing time for Sacramento at second base.

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What happened to Jemile Weeks?

SACRAMENTO -- There is an intriguing mystery in the corridors of the Oakland Coliseum, curling through the A's clubhouse and spawning theories among A's fans, baseball observers and scouts who study the game.

What happened to Jemile Weeks?

Sensational enough as a rookie in 2011 that A's general manager Billy Beane identified him as the key component to the team's future, Weeks is at Triple-A Sacramento and without an obvious place in Oakland's long-term plan. When second baseman Scott Sizemore last week sustained a season-ending injury, the A's summoned not Weeks but Andy Parrino, who was acquired from San Diego last November.

The 18 months since Weeks was the franchise poster boy, a sinewy action figure featured on billboards and magnetized team schedules, have been a haze of struggle and disappointment most graphically illustrated by not one but two demotions to Sacramento.

After arriving in Arizona in February hoping to reclaim his role as offensive catalyst and everyday second baseman, Weeks in March was kicked back to Sac for the second time in seven months. He began the season as, of all things, River Cats D.H.

"If he's the next man up, he'd be on the field," a National League scout said last week. "Doesn't sound good for his future in Oakland."

Though the April 10 promotion of Parrino put Weeks back on the field -- at shortstop for the first time in his professional career -- how did it come to this? How does a young man who lit up a franchise become so invisible so quickly?

Some baseball insiders attribute Weeks' offensive decline to an inability to counter-adjust after scouts and big league pitchers compiled a "book" on him. Some observers say his defense is suspect. Still others, fans and baseball insiders, wonder if he crossed Beane, who has first, firm and final say on all things baseball in Oakland.

Weeks, 26, blames his stumble through 2012 on largely losing his offensive identity.

"I was going through a transformation that I didn't need to, trying to create a swing that I had never used," he said recently. "It didn't look right. It was hard to get out of it. I couldn't get out of it. I continued to work on creating that new swing, and I couldn't perfect it. When I tried to go back to what I'm used to, I had lost that."

When River Cats manager Steve Scarsone was asked how Weeks went from face of the Oakland A's to Sacramento D.H., he offered a cryptic response: "That's a good question."

Upon posing the same question to Bob Melvin, Weeks' former manager in Oakland, his chin dropped and his eyes darted downward. He paused and sighed.

"That's the way baseball is," he said. "Some guys come to the forefront when the opportunity is there. If they don't take advantage of it ... it could swing right back in his favor again.

"I wouldn't rule anything out. We did see a guy who really was a dynamic player. I still think he has the ability to do that again, and I wouldn't rule him out. Even this year I wouldn't rule him out."

Weeks' career has been in steep decline since the summer of '11, when he seemingly seized the leadoff spot in Oakland for the next decade. The organization's No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft (12th overall), Weeks was delivering on promise, an exciting blend of speed, skill and athleticism. Over 406 at-bats, he hit .303, with eight triples, both categories leading all rookie regulars. He stole 22 bases.

Not since Miguel Tejada's arrival in the 1990s had an A's prospect so stimulated the fan base.

"He's a great talent, a unique talent," Beane gushed of Weeks in February 2012. "And he's only got a half-year in the major leagues. He's a guy who is very much part of our long-term future."

One year later, as Weeks fights to revive his career, it appears he is on the trade block.

Reminded of his previous statement, Beane acknowledges saying it but concedes that things change all the time in baseball -- sometimes quickly.

Beane says Weeks needs to continue working on his defense. That he is playing shortstop broadens his versatility, while allowing another foundering prospect, Grant Green, an opportunity to play second base. The G.M. insists Weeks has major-league ability and, moreover, works hard to mine it.

"That's never been an issue," Beane said. "One of the reasons everyone was so patient last year is that he does play hard, and he obviously cares. I've never had any concerns about that."

What then? Did he say something wrong, do something improper, fail baseball's subjective "attitude test?" There is rampant speculation that some of Jemile's comments last August, upon being demoted while batting .220, were not sufficiently humble.

"I'm going to be a star in this game, man," he said on his way out of the Oakland clubhouse. "You've got to have ups and downs. It just makes the story so much sweeter when you come back. I don't want to expound too much on it, but you're looking at a star, period."

Recently reminded of those words, Weeks is quick to say they were part of a larger point he was trying to make. He understood why he was being sent to the River Cats, even wondered why it took until late August. He wanted to make it evident his confidence was not shaken, that he believes he has something to offer the A's and that recapturing his mojo was a matter of going back to basics.

"After the first four or five games last year, (A's management) wanted me to work on a different type of game," he said. "The team wasn't hitting, so it was brought to my attention to do whatever it took to get on base to help the team. I tried to do that. I took more pitches. I tried (not to overswing). When I got out front and my swing looked big, the perception was I was trying to hit home runs. I have never tried to hit a home run."

Both Beane and A's hitting coach Chili Davis said they never insisted Weeks take more pitches, only that they believed his swing resulted in too many fly balls. And at 5-foot-9, 161 pounds, Weeks is not going to send many fly balls over the fence.

"It takes a lot to get your mind back into the position where you were in, knowing how good you were," Weeks said. "I've never had a season when I hit .220; that was my first time. It gets frustrating, that people might believe you're a .220 hitter. But I'll just go out this year ... I know I won't do that."

Though there are signs Weeks' stroke is back -- a .379 batting average and .463 on-base percentage through 13 games for the River Cats -- there is no indication he'll be back in Oakland any time soon.

Moreover, every member of the A's who spoke about Weeks, including director of player development Keith Lieppman, floated the possibility of Weeks moving to another organization.

"He is swinging the bat well, getting back to being who Jemile Weeks should be," Davis said. "I hope he continues doing that to get that second chance. He deserves a second chance here."

Parsing through comments from those within the Oakland organization, two more questions bobbed to the surface:

Can Weeks ever regain the form that for four months made him such a dynamic catalyst in Oakland?

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Jemile Weeks works at SS

Oakland Athletics 2B Jemile Weeks worked at shortstop with Triple-A Sacramento Wednesday, April 10, and started there for the first time in his career. The team recalled INF Andy Parrino over him because Parrino can play shortstop, second base, third and the outfield. "I wouldn't be surprised if that was Jemile's idea," manager Bob Melvin said. "It just opens up some versatility options for him."

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Jemile Weeks dealing with bone bruise in right shoulder

PHOENIX -- Turns out Scott Sizemore isn't the only A's second baseman ailing these days. learned Tuesday that Jemile Weeks is also dealing with an injury -- a bruised bone in his right shoulder he suffered while getting tangled up at second base on a double-play attempt in Friday's game against the Giants. He hasn't played since being injured.

Weeks, manager Bob Melvin said, is day to day and close to returning to game action.

The young second baseman was enjoying a productive spring before the injury, collecting hits in six of his first 11 at-bats -- including a home run -- for a .545 average, to go along with five RBIs in just four games.

Sizemore, meanwhile, could return to the lineup as soon as Thursday after being hit by a pitch in the left hand on Sunday. He took grounders on Monday and hit in the cage Tuesday morning, both signs of progression.

The two infielders are the top candidates to open the regular season as the starting second baseman.

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Jemile Weeks seeks starting spot for Athletics

PHOENIX—Jemile Weeks refuses to point fingers or make excuses. The face responsible for his sub-par sophomore season is the one he sees in the mirror every morning.

The second baseman is now trying to regain his starting role with the Oakland Athletics. There are plenty of candidates in the infield.

Scott Sizemore returns after tearing his left knee last spring and missing the year. Jed Lowrie was obtained in a trade with the Houston Astros and the A's signed Japanese veteran Hiroyuki Nakajimi.

There also are veteran backups Adam Rosales and Eric Sogard.

Weeks, who led off for the A's in Saturday's spring opener at the Milwaukee Brewers, embraces the competition.

"It's my job to show them I'm no different than I have been in the past," Weeks said. "There is a sense of having to prove it to people if they doubt."

He was Oakland's first-round pick in 2008, reached the majors ahead of schedule and hit .303 in 97 games as a rookie in 2011.

There was no reason to think he would backpedal. But last Aug. 21, when he was hitting .220 with two homers and 20 RBIs, he was sent to Triple-A Sacramento.

That prompted A's GM Billy Beane to make some moves during the offseason that has produced some stiff competition this spring.

"You put guys into situations to see what they can do," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You take into consideration a guy who has a track record but guys know they're in competition."

For Weeks, it's a matter of returning to what made him successful in the first place: working hard every day year around.

His older brother, Milwaukee Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks, is also convinced Jemile will return to prominence.

"He's an All-Star second baseman," the elder Weeks said. "I know that for a fact."

After his sensational rookie season, in which he led all major league rookies in batting average and triples, he got of his routine, perhaps resting on his laurels just enough to offset the things he accomplished the previous season.

"Everybody goes through streaks like this," Weeks said. "I came into last season feeling good and then I got out of my routine."

He wasn't going to blame the sophomore jinx, how pitchers adjusted to him or anybody affiliated with the Athletics. He took full responsibility.

"Sure pitchers threw me differently but I have to go back to getting out of my routine," Weeks said. "Those were the same pitchers I faced as when I broke in. It was my results which were different. You realize this game is not easy and you have to keep working hard to be good. There's really no other substitute for that."

The A's really don't know what to expect out of Sizemore and Lowrie, who has also been plagued by injuries during his big league career. Nakajimi is making the adjustment to American baseball.

"I have to applaud Billy for what he did this offseason," Melvin said. "It's a nice problem to have. What it allows us to do is withstand injuries, or give guys days off over the course of a season."

Lowrie, who has yet to play a full season in the majors, is as healthy as he's been and also looking forward to the season. He says playing shortstop "is why I am here. I feel good. I haven't played since last year but I feel healthy."

Lowrie, who turns 29 in April, played in a career-high 97 games with the Houston Astros. He missed two months because of thumb and ankle injuries.
"That's why you put in the time to rehab," Lowrie said. "You know there is baseball down the road."

It's also the reason Weeks has himself back on track and looking forward.

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Jemile Weeks is sent to Triple-A

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 set 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?/2-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 spring,'' 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 also is out of options and who also is 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 hitting .538 and has hits in 15 of his past 21 at-bats. Sending Sogard down -- now that would be tough.

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Jemile Weeks: Dealing With Bone Bruise in Shoulder

Update: Weeks is dealing with a bone bruise in his right shoulder, the A's official site reports.

Recommendation: Weeks, who was off to an impressively hot start this spring, hasn't played since hurting the shoulder in Friday's game against the Giants. The injury is minor, however, and manager Bob Melvin believes Weeks should be able to return within the next few days.

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Jemile Weeks’ Injury Halts Oakland Athletics Second Base Competition

The Oakland Athletics second base job for 2013 was supposed to be decided by a competitionlb_icon1 between Scott Sizmore, Adam Rosales and Jemile Weeks, with Jed Lowrie in the mix getting playing time all over the field.

Now, the team is just hoping that injuries don’t take them from having excess depth in the infield to not having enough players.

At the very least, they can put the competition on hold. As Jane Lee of reports, the team has been holding out Weeks as a result of a shoulder injury he suffered during the middle of a double-play attempt in the team’s Cactus League game on Friday against the San Francisco Giants.

The team is calling it a “bone bruise” right now, and A’s manager Bob Melvin has said that Weeks’ ailing shouldn’t isn’t serious, and despite not having played since then, the 26-year old should be ready to go soon enough.

Weeks has been the primary second baseman for the Oakland A’s over the last couple of seasons, and is naturally the guy the team gave the inside track to over Sizemore this spring.

Even before Sizemore was hit by a pitch and taken out of game action, Weeks seemed to be well on his way to hanging onto that job anyway. The switch-hitter had been excellent over his four games in spring, racking up six hits over eleven at-bats, including a pair of doubles and a homer.

Given that Weeks’ value to the team comes mostly from his plate discipline and speed, the early doubles power that he’s showing is a good sign. Because he doesn’t really have home run power (four HRs in 948 PA), Weeks really needs to have the ability to hit the ball to the wall in order to really make use of his running skills on the basepaths.

The fact that he hit 26 doubles in 437 PA in 2011 was a big reason why he was a 1.9 fWAR rookie that year, and that the number dropped to 15 over 511 PA in 2012 was why he was barely replacement level in 2012.

He’ll still be the front-runner for the second base job when he returns, but Weeks now finds himself in another race with Sizemore – the one to come back from an injury as quickly as possible so they can continue to show their stuff on the field.

Considering that they represent most of the Oakland A’s depth at the position, though, the team is hoping that neither of them will end up rushing this one.

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Jemile Weeks Leads A’s Over Padres In Cactus League

PHOENIX (CBS / AP) — Dan Straily made his major league debut before making his Cactus League debut. In Oakland’s case, that’s not unusual.

Jemile Weeks hit a leadoff home run in the first inning, Seth Smith later homered and the Athletics beat a split squad of San Diego Padres 11-6 on Wednesday.
Weeks, Smith and Jed Lowrie each had two hits and drove in two runs. Smith homered in the second as Oakland took a 7-2 lead.

Straily, who had never pitched higher than Single-A until last year, allowed two runs on two hits in 1 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out one in his first big league spring appearance.

“There are quite a few guys like that,” Straily said. “I talked to a few guys about that. There’s no timidness here. We’re part of the team and we came ready to work.”

Straily ended last season in the Athletics” starting rotation, helping them win the AL West along with fellow rookies A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker.

Straily did not pitch during the AL division series but both Griffin and Milone made starts. Neither of them started a big league spring gamelb_icon1 until now.
“I feel like I’ve been before although I haven’t,” Straily said. “I’m getting ready for a long season. I’m getting ready to pitch.”

Straily said he focused on his fastball, though he mixed in a handful of breaking pitches.

“I had to knock the rust off out,” he said. “It’s been a long two weeks waiting to get out there. I threw a lot of good pitches. I wasn’t trying to get ahead of myself.”
Cody Ransom homered and drove in two runs for San Diego. Travis Buck, who previously played for the A’s, had two hits and drove in two runs. Padres starter Eric Stults gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in one inning.

Padres manager Bud Black wasn’t overly concerned about Stults’ outing. The left-hander produced career numbers last year after being claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox in May.

“I’m not going to look at one inning in February,” Black said. “He’s still in a strengthicon1 building phase and throwing a lot of fastballs. His change did not come into play. His fastball had some life to it and he showed good arm and hand speed. He felt good and that’s the important thing.”

Weeks, coming off a down season, has hit safely in all three of his gameslb_icon1 and upped his spring average to .625.

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Jemile Weeks working to win back Oakland A's job at second base

PHOENIX — Jemile Weeks, knocked off the mountain top last year, says his Willie Mays Hayes impersonation of 2012 was a fluke and that he's going to make the A's decision on a starter at second base a difficult one.

Weeks was the starter at second on opening day last March, got off to a quick and powerful start and seemed poised to replicate his successful rookie season. But he tumbled so badly that by mid-August, just about the time Oakland was gearing up for a stretch drive for the American League West title, he was demoted to Triple-A Sacramento.

``It's very important to me to be the starter again,'' Weeks said. ``The next 35-40 days are a time when I can prove myself, show myself and force the A's hand. It's up to the brass to make the decisions, but I'm going to make it hard on them.''

Weeks hit two homers in his first 37 at-bats. There were suggestions that he, like the Willie Mays Hayes character immortalized by Wesley Snipes in ``Major League,'' got focused on the power and got away from the strength of his game, which is to slash line drives, using his speed to get on base and to serve as a generator for Oakland's offense.

``That's the biggest misconception there is about my season last year,'' Weeks said. ``Because my idea of baseball is hitting line drives all over the place. That's what my game is. I never got away from that.''

The line drives never fell in, however. After hitting .303 as a rookie, Weeks had his average peak at .229 on June 2, then flop all over the place from there, finishing at .221 after a three-week stint in August and September in the minor leagues.

When Cactus League games start Saturday, Weeks will have a single-minded ``focus on getting my game back.''

He won't be alone, however. The man who was supposed to be the starting third baseman last year, Scott Sizemore, is back at what is probably his best defensive position. Jed Lowrie, just acquired from Houston, is a shortstop with power who came into pro ball as a second baseman. Adam Rosales was a rising star in .210 when he hit .271 in about half a season and is trying to come back to relevance. And then there is Eric Sogard, a versatile 26-year-old who manager Bob Melvin keeps talking up.

``It's a big opportunity for Jemile after the sophomore slump or whatever he went through last year,'' Melvin said. ``He's got a lot of talent. He's got a lot of competition at second base, too.''

Sizemore lost all of 2012 thanks to a knee injury and is on a mission to become a regular part of the Oakland lineup again.

``It was fun to watch what we did last year; I had the best seat in the house,'' Sizemore said.

Fun? Really?

``Well, not at first,'' Sizemore said. ``When you first get injured and then have the surgery and start the rehab, that is the worst. There is no lonelier feeling than that. But it's all in the past. I feel good. I'm ready to go.''

Lowrie is part of the equation at shortstop as well as at second base. The difference being that second base is open while the A's are going to go with Hiroyuki Nakajima unless he gives them a reason not to. So Lowrie could slip in as the starter at second, where he was a star at Stanford.

``I prefer shortstop, but I'm comfortable at second,'' Lowrie said. ``Mostly I just want to play.''

Melvin is blessed with largess throughout the lineup, and at second base as much as anywhere.

``I see it as a win-win situation.'' Melvin said. ``Weeks could be a weapon. So could Sizemore or Lowrie. You can't count Rosie out. And you can't forget about Sogard.''

Now it's up to someone to grab the position and make it his own, and that should be one of the most compelling stories once Cactus League games start Saturday.

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A's looking for Jemile Weeks to have bounce-back year

The talent is still there, insists Billy Beane. That's why the A's general manager was so patient with a struggling Jemile Weeks last year.

That's why the second baseman, hitting just .220 over 113 games, wasn't demoted until August. And that's why Weeks, who turned 26 last week, will be considered very much a part of what manager Bob Melvin deemed the "open competition" for the second-base position this spring.

So, too, will Scott Sizemore, from whom a breakout season at the plate was expected before he suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first day of Spring Training workouts in 2012. The plan now is for Sizemore to see time at both second and third this spring, with the latter spot being Josh Donaldson's to lose, thus likely leaving Sizemore to battle it out with Weeks for an everyday job at second base.

Ultra utility player Adam Rosales and versatile prospect Grant Green will also be given looks at the position.

"I think it's going to be a nice competition over there," Melvin said. "Just because someone starts there Opening Day doesn't mean someone else might not be there the next day based on a matchup."

Weeks was primed for great things in his sophomore campaign, simply based on how easy he made the transition to the big leagues look during a remarkable rookie season, when he hit .303 with 26 doubles, eight triples, 36 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in just 97 games.

The switch-hitter would have appeared in even fewer games had then-incumbent Mark Ellis not suffered an early-season injury. But Ellis' trip to the disabled list paved the way for Weeks' callup, and even when Ellis was cleared for a return, the classy veteran insisted the hot-handed Weeks keep playing. Ellis, subsequently, was relegated to a utility role and, shortly after, traded to the Rockies -- a sure sign of Oakland's commitment to Weeks, the organization's first-round pick out of Miami (Fla.) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Such trust in Weeks was cemented even further after the season ended, as he was considered the lone untouchable while the club essentially made every other player available. Less than a year later, he was back in Triple-A Sacramento.

Only later in September, following the River Cats' playoff run, did Weeks return to the A's, but he was left off the club's postseason roster.

"I'm definitely a confident player, but there were times at the plate where I wasn't committed to what I was doing," Weeks said at the end of the season. "It's believing that what you're going to do is going to work. When you face a lot of failure, you might question that."

"It's not uncommon to see a guy who had a great rookie season take a half-step back the next season," Melvin said. "His talent level has not gone away. I talked to him recently, and I know he has high expectations for himself. He's not going to let any distractions get in the way. We've seen what he can do."

It's a unique situation the A's face this spring. The club tries not to use camp to make evaluations that lead to roster decisions, because of the small sample size. Yet Melvin and Co. must do just that this year with the likes of Weeks and Sizemore.

"Jemile had a tough year on the field, but his attitude was great when he went down," Beane said. "We think very highly of his talent. He's a great kid, brings a lot of energy when he's out there. I think he'd be the first to tell you that he expected more and that he'll bounce back this year."

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Jemile Weeks to battle Sizemore for second base job

The Athletics' second base job "will be an open competition" between Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore.

Weeks dealt with health issues and struggled with effectiveness in 2012, but he'll enter spring training as the slight favorite for a starting role. After missing all of last season due to injury, Sizemore is also a candidate for playing time at third base with Josh Donaldson, and could be a potential fantasy sleeper if he can find his way into an everyday job.

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Can Weeks claim starting second-base job?

Where do you see Jemile Weeks at the start of next season? Will he work hard enough on his game to be a starter and be more consistent in doing so? -- Mike P., Danville, Ky.

There's no questioning Weeks' work ethic. It's obviously there, and the slip in his performance last season seems to derive from a few early-season tweaks in his game he's now having a hard time reversing. Recall Weeks' rookie campaign and he wasn't really trying to do too much, other than put the ball in play. This year, he hit a couple of home runs in the early goings and, as a result, maybe began swinging a little bigger and putting the ball in the air. That resulted in far too many fly-ball outs, and his numbers obviously dipped.

That being said, if Weeks proves he's made the adjustments necessary to earn an everyday job in the big leagues this spring, he has a decent shot at getting one -- though it'll take a weak showing from Scott Sizemore for that to happen. Sizemore is clearly viewed as the top second-base option at the moment, but he, too, has plenty to prove, having not seen Major League action in a year after undergoing knee surgery last spring. With that in mind, Sizemore will also have to assure the A's that his knee is no longer of concern. Should he fare well in camp, I expect him to start at second base, with Weeks back in Triple-A waiting for the phone to ring again.

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