Cespedes' DH prowess gives A's options

Cespedes' DH prowess gives A's options

OAKLAND -- Any questions about Yoenis Cespedes' ability in the designated-hitter role have been put to rest, and it appears the rookie's production from the spot could lead to intermittent starts there even when he's completely healthy.

Still nursing a strained left hamstring, Cespedes made his third straight start at DH for Friday's series opener against the Giants, having gone 3-for-8 in his previous two games there, with one of those hits being a walk-off, three-run homer in Thursday's win.

Cespedes appears to be nearing a return to the outfield, but manager Bob Melvin confirmed the slugger won't completely be stripped of DH duties when he does.

"I think that's an option with everybody, yeah," he said. "It allows us to incorporate more guys and rest guys as the season goes along. We're coming up to the halfway point, and at this point, guys aren't always healthy.

"The one thing I was a little bit concerned about was him not DHing before, but he seems to be doing OK with that. It gives us the opportunity to make sure he's 100 percent when he goes back out there."

Cespedes, who is batting .341 with runners in scoring position, entered Friday ranked second among American League rookies in RBIs (30) and third in home runs (7), doubles (9) and extra-base hits (17).