OAKLAND -- A's fans can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that Yoenis Cespedes is back to hitting home runs without pain.
Cespedes proved that much during batting practice Saturday in his first session since going on the disabled list May 12 with a strained muscle in his left hand. He's slated to hit again with the team on Sunday before potentially embarking on a short rehab stint in the Minor Leagues on Monday.
"My guess is he'll need a few at-bats," manager Bob Melvin said.
Cespedes believes he won't need more than two games before being ready to join the A's on their six-game road swing through Minnesota and Kansas City that begins Monday. They'll likely come with Triple-A Sacramento.
"For me, I haven't seen live pitching for a long time, so those games are going to mostly be about seeing pitching," he said. "Maybe four, five, six at-bats -- depends on how I feel."
Cespedes used a new bat on Saturday, one that is tapered to help him make a grip adjustment to prevent further harm to his hand. He knows a successful change can't happen overnight, so he'll initially use the new bats just during batting practice, before introducing them into game action.
Cespedes is eager to return.
"For me, for my team, for my family, it will be nice to see this nightmare over," he said.