SEATTLE -- Mention Yoenis Cespedes' Major-League leading 13 strikeouts to Bob Melvin, and the A's manager will fire back with other numbers.
"He's also on base over .350, he's also slugging [nearly] .700, he's also had to face Felix [Hernandez] three times, he also has three home runs and leads the team in RBIs," Melvin said, quickly. "He's been on base six other times via walk and hit by pitch. If that's a struggle, there's no way to go but up -- and up is going to be pretty good."
So he's not worried about the strikeout total?
"I'm not that worried," Melvin said. "The times, obviously, you would like to see him not strike out is with a man on third and less than two outs. But, again, I think he's on a nice pace right now -- especially for a guy that has a big learning curve."
Friday marked the first time this season Cespedes did not reach base, and he has gone down on strikes at least once in each of his first eight games. But the swing-and-misses don't appear to be fazing him much.
"A lot of guys, if they get two or three strikeouts, they get defensive and their confidence goes down," Melvin said. "You definitely don't see that from him. He's still letting it go, he's still tenacious in every at-bat, and he still feels like every time he goes up there he's going to do something good. We feel the same way on the bench, so we need more time to figure out whether he's striking out too much. But he's not scared, definitely not scared."