Game 18 wrapup: A’s need Cespedes’ presence ASAP

It’s not like Yoenis Cespedes was having a monster year when an injured left hand put him on the disabled list.

A .200 average with three homers in 11 games isn’t a monster start.

    But he’s one of those rare players where his very presence makes everybody around him better. The A’s hit 19 homers in the 11 games when he was healthy. In the seven games since, they’ve hit two.

They could really have used a homer, or even a roaring double Saturday night against the Rays, but all they got was a soft three singles and a walk.

Oakland really needs to have Cespedes back in the lineup. He’s not eligible to come back until the 28th, but the good news for the A’s is that Cespedes took some dry swings (no baseball involved) under the eye of batting coach Chili Davis Saturday and seemed to do well.

“There is no doubt that he makes everybody else in the lineup better,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “It (the home run differential) doesn’t surprise me. He’s a presence in the lineup.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.