Checking in from Phoenix, where the temperature might just drop from 105 degrees to 103 later tonight if we’re lucky …
–It’s looking doubtful we’ll see A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes playing in this three-game series against the Diamondbacks. He didn’t do any on-field activity today, but A’s manager Bob Melvin said the tentative plan is for Cespedes to run on the field Saturday and take batting practice if his hamstring is feeling good enough. Asked again about whether the disabled list is a possibility for his slugging outfielder, Melvin responded: “I think we’ll know tomorrow when we get him on the field.” Seth Smith draws the start in left field against right-hander Daniel Hudson, and he’s also filling Cespedes’ shoes as the cleanup hitter.
Want some evidence of the impact Cespedes has made since being reinstated from the disabled list a week ago? The A’s have scored 33 runs in their last six games. They scored 32 over their previous 16 games before that.
A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Reddick RF, Smith LF, Inge 3B, Moss 1B, Suzuki C, Pennington SS; Milone LHP.
D’backs: Bloomquist SS, Kubel LF, Upton RF, Goldschmidt 1B, Montero C, Young CF, Hill 2B, Roberts 3B, Hudson RHP.
–It’s one big reunion this weekend. Jarrod Parker and Trevor Cahill will square off Saturday night in a matchup of the key players from the A’s/Diamondbacks trade in December. Bob Melvin is managing his first game at Chase Field since he last served as the D’backs’ skipper in 2009. Melvin’s bench coach, Chip Hale, also coached under him with Arizona from 2007-09. And don’t forget that A’s reliever Ryan Cook and outfielder Collin Cowgill are facing their former team, as are Arizona relievers Craig Breslow and Brad Ziegler.
–This is my first time covering a game at Chase Field, which explains all the wrong turns I’ve already taken in the press box. I hope they pass out a map that shows me the quickest way to the elevators when I’m on deadline after the game. And I have to say, it’s weird covering baseball in Phoenix when it’s not spring training. I’m used to a leisurely morning drive through Scottsdale to get to the A’s spring home at Papago Park. But today, I actually hit commute traffic at about 2:45 p.m. trying to get to Chase Field, located here in downtown Phoenix. Adjustments, I tell you …