DENVER -- The combination of Denver's rarified air and Yoenis Cespedes' raw power could make for quite the sight, and it's one that was set to be on display Wednesday when the A's outfielder started his first game in nearly a week because of a strained left hamstring.
But Cespedes, who was back in his normal cleanup spot and playing left field, lasted less than two innings in his return, after being pulled out of the game in the bottom of the second inning in favor of Jonny Gomes after aggravating the same injury.
"It was as much precautionary as anything," manager Bob Melvin said. "It scared him a little, going down the line, and then when he came in for a ball in left field [he] just wasn't comfortable, so we went ahead and took him out. We just didn't want to press him and make it any worse."
Melvin said Cespedes will not play in Thursday's series finale but could potentially be a designated hitter over the weekend.
Prior to the game, Cespedes said through translator Ariel Prieto that he was "very happy" to be back in the lineup but warned he was not yet back to 100 percent.
"I want to try to control my speed," he said. "I'm going to try to run, and if I can go 100 percent I'll do that. If I have to go 80 to 90 percent, that's what I'm going to do."
"Our training staff felt he ran well enough yesterday to where, we put him in a corner spot and limit the movement a little, and hopefully he can take it a little easy on the bases," Melvin said. "I think we've been pretty careful with him, and I don't think this day is certainly not pushing it."