Crisp returns; Cespedes back in left field

Crisp returns; Cespedes back in left field

Crisp returns; Cespedes back in left field
OAKLAND -- One A's outfielder is back in the lineup, while another is back in the outfield.

Center fielder Coco Crisp deemed himself ready to return to action after participating in baseball activities before Tuesday's game against Texas, and he was in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Rangers. And Yoenis Cespedes, who's been the designated hitter since spraining his left thumb in the final game before the All-Star break against Seattle, was back in left field.

It marked the first time the two were both in the outfield since that July 8 game against the Mariners.

In the first game back after the break at Minnesota, Crisp experienced soreness in his left shoulder and sat out the next three games. As for Cespedes, the team wanted to make sure it didn't take any risks with him, according to A's manager Bob Melvin.

"Coco took a few days, where I though we might've caught a break there," Melvin said. "Originally, I thought it might be a little bit longer, but he swung well [Tuesday] both sides of the plate, was aggressive with his swings. After the game, he felt like he was ready to go.

"Yoenis, we just wanted to take our time, make sure he was comfortable putting his glove on."

At this point, having had to deal with several injuries in his rookie season, Cespedes has accrued plenty of time as the DH.

And though Melvin was worried about how the outfielder would take to the role since he had little experience with it, Cespedes has flourished. He's collected 20 hits in 56 at-bats and has knocked four of his 11 home runs as the DH.

Given that Cespedes has played well in the hitting-only role, it would seem to open the possibility that he be the DH even when healthy, since fellow outfielder/DH Seth Smith seems to hit better when he's playing in the field.

Melvin acknowledged he would look into that, but also said Smith's splits might be a coincidence, considering his experience in a similar role as a pinch-hitter in the National League.

"We'll certainly take it into consideration," Melvin said. "But [Cespedes] is quite the athlete, and you don't want to just limit him to DHing."