The A’s are without one of their biggest weapons as they start this important three-game series against the Angels. Yoenis Cespedes is out of the lineup for the second time in three games, as his sprained right wrist is still giving him problems. After sitting out Saturday, Cespedes went 0 for 4 on Sunday, and A’s manager Bob Melvin said the wrist bothered Cespedes in his final two at-bats. The A’s held him out of batting practice today, and Melvin said he’s hopeful that a full day off will help things. “Day to day,” the manager said. I don’t have to tell you how important Cespedes is to this lineup — their win-loss record is drastically better with him than without him. And while we’re justifiably talking a lot about Oakland’s pitching right now — Can the young starters hold up? Can Ryan Cook do the job as closer? — Cespedes is as critical to this team’s success as any one player in my opinion. He’s the most dangerous hitter in a lineup that has struggled to score runs consistently this season. Cespedes declined comment to reporters before batting practice.
Brandon Moss is playing left field tonight, and it’s worth watching how he does in his first start there this season.
–Brett Anderson continues to come along well. He went 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday, giving up three runs and five hits against Nashville. All three of those runs came in the first, and Anderson said he felt his stuff got much sharper as the game went on. His velocity is getting better and his slider was particularly sharp. But his entire repertoire still needs to improve. “It’s one thing to throw strikes, but another thing to have command that’s going to translate to the big leagues,” Anderson said. “My command is the last thing to come. It’s getting there. It’s not quite there yet but it’s getting close.”
–Shortstop Cliff Pennington is set to play three more games with Sacramento tonight through Wednesday, Melvin said. It’s possible he gets activated sometime early in the upcoming road trip that begins Friday.
A’s — Crisp CF, Weeks 2B, Reddick RF, Carter 1B, Moss LF, Gomes DH, Inge 3B, Norris C, Sogard SS; Parker RHP.
Angels — Trout CF, Hunter RF, Pujols 1B, Trumbo LF, Morales DH, Callaspo 3B, Kendrick 2B, Aybar SS, Iannetta C; Weaver RHP.