OAKLAND -- Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes wasn't in the A's lineup for Friday's series opener against San Diego, but manager Bob Melvin said that his cleanup hitter could return Saturday or Sunday, likely at designated hitter.
Cespedes originally strained his left hamstring on June 7 against Texas, and then aggravated it in his first game back on Wednesday against Colorado. The team's return to the Coliseum and American League rules means that Melvin again has use of the DH, which would be ideal for Cespedes because he wouldn't have to put stress on his hamstring playing in the field.
"I think we're going to probably run him around a little today," Melvin said Friday. "Whether it's tomorrow or the next day [that he returns], I'm not sure. It literally is day to day. We feel like we have a few more options with potentially being able to DH him here."
Melvin often has pointed to the impact that Cespedes' presence has on the A's offense, and there seems to be something to that. Oakland is 20-16 with the Cuban native in the lineup and just 9-19 when he has sat out. Cespedes was on the disabled list with a strained left hand before returning on June 1 and was 10-for-26 since then. The rookie is hitting .273 overall this season with six home runs.
"He's a guy that's very important to our lineup, and we feel like even though it didn't look great the other day, I think it scared him a little bit," Melvin said. "As far as his strength and everything goes, it's pretty good. We don't feel like we're in a DL situation right now."