Melvin optimistic Cespedes can play in Game 1

Cespedes or Cabrera -- which injury could loom larger?

Melvin optimistic Cespedes can play in Game 1
October 1, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Yoenis Cespedes played just one game in the outfield over the season's final two weeks due to a sore right shoulder. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

OAKLAND – A’s manager Bob Melvin expressed optimism that left fielder Yoenis Cespedes will play in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday.

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Cespedes, who played just one game on defense in the final two weeks of the regular season because of a sore right shoulder, took batting practice and afterward reported feeling good. He did not play catch, and speaking through A’s Spanish play-by-play broadcaster Manolo Hernández-Douen, Cespedes said that throwing still bothers his shoulder a bit.

But if Cespedes is swinging pain-free, it at least means he might be available to serve as designated hitter for Game 1 against the Detroit Tigers. Cespedes left Friday’s game at Seattle after aggravating his shoulder while swinging, and he sat out Saturday and Sunday.

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“We just want to make sure he’s healthy and it’s not bothering him too much,” Melvin said. “Even if it’s bothering him a little bit, there’s a good chance you’d see him DH. We’re hoping we can get him in the outfield. Whether that’s on Friday I’m not sure yet. Just based on his comments and talking to him, there’s a reasonable chance at the very least that he’ll be DH’ing on Friday.”

As he headed to the field for Tuesday’s workout, Cespedes was asked if he would play Friday.

“I’ll be there even if I have to throw the ball left-handed,” he said.

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