Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/9/14
In case you needed another reminder to never believe what a front office lets the public hear, here’s what Billy Beane told Jane Lee of MLB.com just six days ago: 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. Three days later, the Athletics acquired Jed Lowrie in exchange for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock and Max Stassi. Now Weeks is buried on the depth chart — either Lowrie or Scott Sizemore is likely to start at second base (with the other starting at third base). Adam Rosales, Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard all have MLB experience at one if not both of the positions in question, all with the potential to keep him off the roster. Weeks, therefore, has an uphill battle to climb if he is to break camp with Oakland instead of Triple-A Sacramento. The trade puts the stamp on a precipitous drop for the younger Weeks brother. He was the one player the Athletics deemed untouchable last winter according to Ken Rosenthal’s sources. He had just polished off a brilliant rookie season in which he hit .303/.340/.421 (110 wRC+). A .350 BABIP played a role, but Weeks’s speed could at least explain some of it, and with more experience against major league pitching it wasn’t difficult to see his walk rate rise from a poor 4.8 percent to his minor league norms (in the 8-14 percent range) to offset some of the impending drop. Although the discipline returned — he walked in 9.8 percent of plate appearances in 2012 — the bottom utterly fell out of his BABIP. He pounded the ball into the ground (49.5 percent of balls in play) and didn’t seem to gain much from his speed — he mustered just a 4.3 percent infield hit rate. He hit 11 fewer doubles despite taking 74 more plate appearances. The final result was a .256 BABIP driving an awful .221/.305/.304 (73 wRC+) line. He earned the boot back to Sacramento 118 games into his second season. Is there anything left with Weeks? He is already 26, but he has shown a consistent ability to make contact at the major league level (13.9 percent strikeouts in 945 plate appearances). There’s no reason to believe he can’t sport at least a normal BABIP (like his career .301 mark), but without any semblance of power (four career home runs) that isn’t enough to deserve a starting job on a team trying to contend like Oakland. Weeks owns a .260/.321/.360 (90 wRC+) line in his two seasons in Oakland, and with his mediocre-at-best defense at second base, that makes him a well below average player. Weeks still has options left, and perhaps he flashes what made him so successful in 2011 in spring training or in the early goings at Sacramento to earn a trip back to Oakland. Neither Lowrie nor Sizemore have been beacons of health throughout their careers, and with second base looking like a wasteland — the position put up just a .701 OPS last year, besting only shortstop (.688) — Weeks serves as a perfect second or third option in a situation where one might well be needed. Still, “good second option” can only be considered a disappointment given the lofty expectations Weeks set with his rookie year. Now, the club who once deemed him untouchable has buried him deep down the depth chart, and he faces a rough climb between him and his old starting role.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hot start helps Rockets stave off elimination against Warriors

Matt Millen leaving ESPN for FOX, Big Ten Network

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout loss to Yankees

John Farrell: Pitchers need an approved gripping substance

Cam Newton: Nobody has ever been who I'm trying to be

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bears cut Ray McDonald after domestic violence arrest

Report: Paul Pierce could opt out of contract, join Clippers

Report: NBA exploring moving start of Finals up

Isaiah Thomas: Danny Ainge wants my input on free agents

Brian Matusz suspended eight games for substance on arm

Baseball players in the military: A tribute

Stephen Curry leaves Game 4 after nasty fall, returns later

WATCH: Khris Davis trolls umps after controversial homer

Is Adrian Peterson leveraging himself out of the league?

Mascot creates controversy with 'Police Lives Matter' sign

The Talented Mr. Blatt

The curious case of Frank Kaminsky

Is the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player?

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

Could the NBA Finals be moved up?

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Ballplayers in the military: A tribute

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.