Weeks' demotion narrows second base field

Weeks' demotion narrows second base field

PHOENIX -- Jemile Weeks was removed from the A's second base competition on Sunday, when the club opted to send him to Triple-A Sacramento.

The race still includes Scott Sizemore, Adam Rosales, Eric Sogard and Andy Parrino, with Jed Lowrie's name still in discussions, though he seems likely to start the season as the everyday shortstop thanks to the continued struggles of Hiro Nakajima.

The A's are likely to carry all five guys to the Bay Area next weekend for a preseason series with the Giants, but only three will make the roster, assuming Nakajima remains with the big league club -- and only two if Nakajima and new first baseman Nate Freiman make the team. Either way, one spot undoubtedly goes to Lowrie, who is hitting .310.

Sizemore has struggled to the tune of a .171 average this spring, while Weeks was far more impressive with a .370 mark. But the A's have been consistent in saying that between the two, Sizemore was going to get the lengthier look since he's playing catch-up after missing all of 2012. Weeks was also set back by a shoulder injury that forced him to miss two weeks of Cactus League action.

"It was tough," manager Bob Melvin said of demoting Weeks. "He's had a good spring, certainly offensively more than defensively at this point, but he's worked very hard on his defense and will continue to work very hard on his defense. It was a difficult cut, but we have to cut our numbers down at some point."

Should the A's deem Sizemore unprepared for regular season games before they set their roster, there's a possibility that Rosales and Sogard could form a platoon at second base. And if the decision comes down to choosing just one of those two players, Rosales holds the edge because he's out of options.

"Their versatility helps them out," Melvin said, "and they're having great springs."

The A's also optioned Shane Peterson to Triple-A on Sunday following an inspiring showing. The outfielder put together a .408 average in his first big league camp.

"He had an unbelievable camp," Melvin said. "All of the coaches just rave about him -- and probably didn't see him play his best position, which is first base. This guy is very close to being a big leaguer, and I feel he could play at the big league level right now."

Said Peterson: "That was kind of my main focus, trying to make a good first impression. Bob said numerous times they went through almost 50 guys last year, so there's a lot of opportunity."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.