The Cespedes Effect

USA TODAY Sports

Just how much does La Potencia mean to the A's?

It seems like there's a deeper reason why the A's have been struggling lately, and it has nothing to do with the pitching or the defense.

It's Yoenis Cespedes.

As the A's beat reporter Jane Lee tweeted last night, Oakland is 90-48 when Cespedes is in the lineup and 17-31 when he's on the bench or hurt.

Luckily, Cespedes should be back in the lineup when the A's face the Orioles Sunday in the series finale. Last night for AAA Sacramento, Cespedes went 2-for-2 with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, a walk and a home run. He'll DH for the RiverCats again today and likely rejoin Oakland on Sunday.

Before last night's game, CSN's Casey Pratt spoke with Bob Melvin and Jed Lowrie about the plan for Cespedes and how badly he's needed in the lineup.

"He will play in the field tonight," Melvin said. "If everything goes well there, DH the next day, and then hopefully on Sunday we are in a position to activate him."

Lowrie has been batting cleanup for the A's in Cespedes' absence, but is happy to move back to the second spot in the order when the Cuban slugger returns.

"I look forward to it just to get him back in the lineup, not necessarily where I hit," Lowrie said. "He's certainly more of a prototypical four hitter than I am."

The A's will celebrate the 1973 World Series champion team today vs. Baltimore. A.J. Griffin faces Chris Tillman, at 1:05 p.m.

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