Now Commenting On:

Cespedes struggles in his return from DL

Cespedes struggles in his return from DL

Cespedes struggles in his return from DL
KANSAS CITY -- The scuffling A's offense got a much-needed reinforcement on Friday with the return of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes was reinstated from the disabled list prior to Friday's 2-0 loss to the Royals -- after being on the DL since May 12 with a strained muscle in his left hand.

Before the injury, Cespedes was hitting .245 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 28 games. Despite not playing since May 6, Cespedes entered Friday as Oakland's second-leading RBI man.

"[Cespedes is] really a true No. 4 hitter for us," manager Bob Melvin said. "Not that the other guys that we've mixed in there don't do a good job. I think that he is a true legitimate four hitter. ... I think he certainly gets your attention, whether he's swinging the bat well or not, because he's a threat every time up with his power. So it really is nice to have him back."

Cespedes batted fourth for the A's -- going 0-for-4 in another poor offensive showing by Oakland -- and was in left field for the first time after playing all of his previous 28 games in center. He also was picked off at first by Royals starter Felipe Paulino after reaching on a fielder's choice in the fourth.

Cespedes said he played left field a lot in Cuba and was tested early in this one on a first-inning Mike Moustakas single to left. The ball fell right in front of Cespedes and drove in a run. Melvin said he thought Cespedes might have misjudged the ball.

"One ball it looked like he didn't have a great read on, but whether or not he gets to it I don't know," Melvin said. "That's the thing about playing left field, is the slice off the left-handed bat will sometimes fool you a little bit. But, again, I don't think he gets to it."

Melvin said Cespedes needs to get acclimated to being in left field.

"It's going to take some time for him to feel really comfortable," Melvin said. "He was working hard today early and before batting practice. It's different when you're working in batting practice than it is in the games. He had three games to work on it in Sacramento, and everybody said he looked pretty comfortable out there."

Coco Crisp, who played center field in Cespedes' absence, played there again Friday night.

Cesepdes' bat is a welcome addition to a lineup that badly needs to start hitting. Cespedes, with coach Ariel Prieto translating, said he's going to try to encourage his teammates and help the team anyway he can.

Fellow outfielder Seth Smith spoke about the importance of having Cespedes back in the lineup.

"It'll be good to get a guy who has legit power in there. Any pitch swinging, he can hit it out of the park," Smith said. "Just having a good bat in the lineup will be good for us."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español