This is the first time I can remember being in Kansas City with no humidity, which is really nice. A lot of times they’ll open the windows in the press box, and this heat wave just blasts you. But it’s breezy. … Check back with me when we’re here again in mid-August. It’ll be a different story …
Yoenis Cespedes is back in the cleanup spot and, as expected, he’s playing left field for the A’s. You say you’re pumped that he’s back? I’m guessing No. 3 hitter Josh Reddick feels the same way. Bob Melvin says he’s noticed Reddick being pitched differently of late without Cespedes waiting in the on-deck circle as protection. “He certainly gets your attention whether he’s swinging the bat or not,” Melvin said.
Cespedes doesn’t anticipate switching from center to left to be a big deal. “A lot of times in Cuba I played left field too,” he said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. He says the toughest plays in left come on balls hit by left-handers. When a right-hander pulls the ball, he knows it’s headed toward the direction of the foul line. A ball off the bat off a lefty can slice and do all kinds of funky stuff. As for hitting, Cespedes said his pitch recognition came back pretty good during three games with Triple-A Sacramento.
Melvin is pulling out all the stops to shake the A’s out of this eight-game losing streak. Seth Smith gets his first look in the No. 2 spot tonight. He has 62 career starts in the second spot, his third-most of any batting order position behind the fifth and sixth spots. “It won’t change anything I do,” Smith said. “I did it in Colorado. Where I hit doesn’t matter. It’s just different situations.”
–Travis Blackley will slide into Tyson Ross’ rotation spot and start Tuesday against Texas (Jarrod Parker goes Monday). Melvin was asked what Ross needs to do to find his way back to the bigs. “He needs to pitch inside more,” Melvin said. “Left-handers were hitting .420 (actually .427), and he needs to develop a consistent offspeed pitch. He’s got two of them that at times are good. We talk about the gap (in velocity) between his fastball and breaking ball. There probably isn’t a big enough one. We’d like him to come up with offspeed that’s maybe in the low 80s or something like that.”
Brandon McCarthy is still on track to come off the DL and start Saturday.
–Non-baseball VIP Alert: Rocker Eddie Money is here tonight. For those wondering, I have no idea if his two tickets are in paradise …
A’s – Weeks 2B, Smith DH, Reddick RF, Cespedes LF, Ka’aihue 1B, Inge 3B, Crisp CF, Suzuki C, Pennington SS. Colon RHP
KC – Gordon LF, Betancourt 2B, Butler DH, Moustakas 3B, Francoeur RF, Hosmer 1B, Escobar SS, Dyson CF, Quintero C; Paulino RHP.