Cespedes relegated to DH duties in opener

Cespedes relegated to DH duties in opener

Cespedes relegated to DH duties in opener
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yoenis Cespedes' sprained left thumb didn't keep him out of the starting lineup for Friday's second-half opener in Minnesota, but it did consign him to designated-hitter duties.

"He probably could play the outfield, but we'll try to take it slowly," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's a little bit more of an issue putting his glove on than it is wrapping around a bat and hitting. Whether or not he's in the outfield tomorrow, there's probably a good chance of that."

Cespedes was pulled from Sunday's game against the Mariners following the third inning, after injuring his thumb when he slid into second on a successful stolen-base attempt in the first frame.

Jonny Gomes, who replaced Cespedes in the game, started in his stead in left field on Friday.

The 26-year-old Cespedes, who finished the first half with just two hits in his final 21 at-bats, has struggled to stay on the field in his first Major League season, enduring an injury in each month so far. Still, his .263 average is among the highest on the team, and his nine home runs and 36 RBIs rank third among all American League rookies.