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Jemile Weeks Optioned To AAA

In a move I imagine few saw coming, Jemile Weeks has been optioned to AAA to make room for Stephen Drew. This comes after an off-season in which Weeks was identified by the A's as "the only untouchable" player, and Oakland dealt Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, and Andrew Bailey.

Personally, I love this move. Mostly I like it because I believe it sends the right message to Weeks: That he actually has to work to fix things rather than continuing to fail the same way, day in and day out, without accountability. I see Weeks as being very talented as well as immature -- and I don't mean "immature" in a pejorative way. People mature at different rates and you can't rush maturity even when you "need" someone to mature at a certain rate. You can, however, sometimes facilitate the maturing process through appropriate wake-up calls, high standards and real accountability.

The point is -- and it's a compliment to Jemile -- I think Weeks is worth sending a wake-up call to, because I think that if and when he matures he has the tools to become a solid major league player. If motivated to take stock of his short-comings and fix them, I think Weeks could come back succeeding and talking about how the demotion, while disappointing at the time, was the best thing to happen to him.

What should Weeks focus on? The length of time it takes his bat to get from its starting position to the "point of contact" is a huge issue. I see his swing being "too much arms, not enough hips" and I also wonder if the starting position for his swing might be too high and wrapped around his head. That being said, I'm no hitting coach -- whatever gets his swing to be shorter from the time he starts it to the "point of contact" is a good thing. Defensively, Weeks' footwork leaves an awful lot to be desired. I would welcome more fluidity in his footwork the next time we see Jemile.

Kudos to the A's for a move that is surprising to many, but is highly sensible. Per Jane Lee's tweets linked above, Oakland has also activated Seth Smith from the 15-day DL and placed Jordan Norberto on the 15-day DL with shoulder tendinitis. To make room on the 40-man roster for Drew, Graham Godfrey has been designated for assignment.