A's notes: Cespedes update, Balfour's adjustment

A's notes: Cespedes update, Balfour's adjustment
July 21, 2013, 11:45 am
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Bob Melvin says Yoenis Cespedes' wrist injury did not occur during last week's Home Run Derby. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

ANAHEIM -- Yoenis Cespedes remained out of the A's lineup Sunday for Oakland's series finale at the Los Angeles Angels with his sore left wrist and is not expected to play Monday in Houston either, said A's manager Bob Melvin,

"Until we actually get him in the cage and he swings full and gets some batting practice and he's comfortable there, you won't see him in a game," Melvin said. "And we're not there yet."

Melvin said it is also unlikely he would use him in a pinch-running role as he'd either have to keep him in the game or burn another player to replace Cespedes in the field.

The A's hoped Cespedes could take some "dry swings" Sunday. After that, he could potentially work his way up to hitting off a tee to swinging at live pitching in a cage. In any event, it's at least a two-day process before Cespedes is back playing in a game.

Cespedes has declined to talk to the media since being scratched prior to Friday night's game, when, the A's say, he tweaked the wrist in the third round of batting practice. Cespedes was unavailable Sunday and Melvin has said Cespedes participating in the Home Run Derby Monday in New York was not where he injured himself.

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It's only been a week since Grant Balfour was selected as a replacement for the All-Star game, but it feels like a lifetime ago for the closer as he adjusts back to his regular routine.

"It's going to take a little bit because it's such a whirlwind," he said. "You're out of there and then you're back home and you're back into living the normal life again, changing diapers and taking care of kids. And then you're on the road and you can't be thinking about an All-Star game; you've got to prepare and keep pitching and keep getting guys out."

Balfour has been a revelation for the A's this season, successfully converting all 25 of his save opportunities while setting a franchise mark with 43 straight saves dating to last year. Still, he said he has shared photos and stories of his Midsummer Classic adventure with A's teammates in Anaheim.

"Obviously, it's an experience that I'll never forget and something that I'll cherish, for sure," Balfour said. "It's awesome. Hopefully it's not the last one. It's something I'd like to experience every year if I could."

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Oakland is 9-0 against the Astros so you'd figure the A's should get their offense going again with the three-game series in Houston against their new American League West mates, right?

"We have (had some success against them), but you have to continue to play at the top of your game," Melvin said. "You can't just throw your glove out there. They've played well against some good teams this year, too, and they've made some changes along the way that have made them a better team."

For what it's worth, the Astros are 7-6 against the Angels, who are going for the sweep of the A's today.

***

Heralded rookie Grant Green, the A's first-round pick in the 2009 first-year player draft, No. 13 overall, is a combined 0-for-12 with six strikeouts since being promoted from Triple-A Sacramento on July 8 after going 0-3 Saturday night.

"There are a lot of things that go along with your first time in the big leagues -- you don't know your opponent, the pitchers that well," Melvin said of Green. "You go a couple of games without getting a hit, you can press a little bit. The last at-bat, he hit the ball pretty good to right-center field. That's his stroke -- staying up the middle and driving the ball into the big part of the park.

"He just needs a hit to relax a little bit."

Green, though, is not in the lineup Sunday as he platoons with Eric Sogard and starts against left-handed pitchers. The Angels are starting a right-hander in Jerome Williams.

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