Yoenis Cespedes is back in the Oakland Athletics lineup after missing four games with a hamstring injury. He tweaked the muscle while running out an infield single on Thursday against the Houston Astros. He will serve as the designated hitter on Tuesday, which makes sense for a player coming back from a shaky leg muscle; there's no need to push things by having him run around in the outfield in addition to running out all of the hits he'll get tonight against Martin Perez.
Getting Cespedes back after missing only one non-Astros game is a big sigh of relief for A's fans. He is a key member of the lineup and is off to a good start in 2014, with 10 extra-base hits, a .226 isolated power mark, and career-best plate discipline. Considering that Perez tossed a three-hit shutout in his last start against Oakland and is working on a 26-inning scoreless streak over his last three outings, the A's will need every ounce of offense they can muster.
In other injury news, A.J. Griffin is scheduled for elbow surgery on Wednesday.
Griffin will have elbow surgery in Houston tomorrow.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 29, 2014
Melvin says Griffin was in positive spirits, glad to get it taken care of with possibility of return at some point next season. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 29, 2014
It is not clear exactly what kind of surgery Griffin is having. It could be Tommy John, or it could be something else, but we know that it will involve his elbow and will knock him out for a full year. It's probably Tommy John, and if it's not then it's apparently something else equally serious that we're not as familiar with.
This doesn't technically set back the 2014 team because Griffin had already been replaced. It does mean that there will be one fewer reinforcement available this summer, as many people had penciled in Griffin as a possible depth option if/when he returned at some point during the season. Susan Slusser reports that Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon are next in line to start, and that Drew Pomeranz is likely to stay in the bullpen for now.
Melvin says Pomeranz not stretched out enough to start and is doing well in current role, so currently not option for starter depth.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 29, 2014
One piece of great news, and one piece of bad news that we were already mostly prepared for. It could be worse