Cespedes gets a day off to take mind off slump

Yoenis Cespedes took the word that he was getting a day off Sunday in stride, A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

The manager said his left fielder knows what’s going on.

And what’s going on right now is a hitless streak of nine at-bats and a six-game batting average of .154. Add to that some faux pas in the outfield and Melvin figured it would be a good day for a day off.

Cespedes is willing to accept that.

   “It can be,’’ he told the Bay Area News Group through interpreter Ariel Prieto Sunday morning. “It depends on what happens.’’

What has happening is that the A’s came into Sunday 2 ½ games behind Texas in the American League West in part because of limited input from their left fielder. Cespedes has 10 strikeouts and just four hits in his last six starts and he hasn’t driven in a run in that span.

“I’m still feeling good (at the plate),’’ Cespedes said when asked if he had any explanation for his recent troubles.

Melvin said it was “a little bit of tough times’’ for his left fielder who had a .292 average with 23 homers and 82 RBIs last year but who checks in with six weeks left in the season at .227, 20 homers and 58 RBIs.

“Sometimes a day off is good mentally as well as physically,’’ Melvin said. “He’s been a little aggressive sometimes, and he’s been swinging out of the (strike) zone.’’

Cespedes is expected to be in the lineup Monday in Detroit as the A’s start a four-game series with the Tigers. He has only two at-bats against Detroit this year, but hit .400 in the regular season against the Tigers a year ago and .316 with a couple of RBIs in the 2012 playoffs against Detroit.

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.