Programming note: A's-Royals coverage begins today at 4:30 p.m. with A's Pregame Live, then live baseball from Kansas City follows on Comcast SportsNet California!
The A's have activated Yoenis Cespedes from the disabled list. He takes the spot on the roster vacated by Tyson Ross on Thursday. Cespedes has been out since May 7 with a strain in his left hand. Cespedes played in three games with the River Cats as part of a rehab assignment. He played left field in every game in Sacramento, after playing center field in 28 games with the A's. During his rehab stint, he went 3 for 9, with one run, and one walk. He was robbed of a double in his second game with the River Cats, after an umpire said he didn't touch first base. Replays showed he did in fact touch the bag.
REWIND: Cespedes playing LF for River Cats
With the River Cats, Cespedes suffered no ill-effects from a strain in his left hand. The A's hope he will make an immediate impact offensively. He returns to a team that has struggled mightily without him. Since Cespedes vacated the cleanup spot in the batting order, A's hitters have hit just .185 while batting fourth. With Cespedes the A's are 15-13, without him they have gone 7-15. When Cespedes went on the DL, he was leading all American League rookies in homers (5), RBIs (21).
A big question is where Cespedes will play in the outfield. When the A's signed him to a four-year 36M contract, he was expected to be the everyday center fielder in Oakland. The fact that he played left field exclusively on his rehab stint came as a bit of a surprise. He told me on Tuesday that he has some experience in left field."I played some time there in the National Cuban team and in Cuba too in the regular series," Cespedes said through translator Ariel Prieto. "It's OK, but I want to help the team. Whatever position they want me to play I will play."Coco Crisp has played center field for the A's in nine games since coming off a the DL.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: A's-White Sox coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.
After sweeping the White Sox, the A's look to carry that momentum over to Houston when they face the division-leading Astros. Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for the series opener.
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Bruce Maxwell (R) C
8. Franklin Barreto (R) 2B
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
Sean Manaea -- LHP
Chicago White Sox:
1. George Springer (R) RF
2. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
3. Carlos Correa (R) SS
4. Evan Gattis (R) DH
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
7. Marwin Gonzalez (S) LF
8. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
9. Jake Marisnick (R) CF
Mike Fiers -- RHP
After five seasons in Oakland, Stephen Vogt begins a new chapter of his career in Milwaukee.
The 32-year-old was designated for assignment by the last-place A's on Thursday and claimed by the first-place Brewers on Sunday.
On Monday, the two-time All-Star catcher discussed his new opportunity with a contender on MLB Network Radio.
"Obviously I was ecstatic to hear I was headed to Milwaukee. We all watch baseball and they are such a fun team to watch right now. And your buddy Eric Sogard is there, so I've got some familiarity. It's an opportunity to win and I think anybody, when you get to the stage I'm in in my career, where I'm 32, I want to win. I'm at the point where that's kind of the goal in the big leagues where all you care about is winning and that's where I'm at. So, to get the news that I'm headed to a first-place team, I couldn't be more excited," Vogt said.
After making the AL All-Star team the last two seasons, Vogt struggled to the tune of a .217 batting average with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games.
But with a new team in a new league comes a fresh slate.
"You get that rejuvenation feeling, you get that feeling that this is the change you needed especially going to a winning team where when you're winning, everyone plays better, when you're winning, everyones happier. No matter where you are in life, you want to have that feeling that somebody wants you. So to have Milwaukee come in and say 'We wanted you,' Yeah, it recharged the batteries. I'm ready to go," Vogt said.