Last year, Josh Reddick messed up his wrist diving for a foul ball in an 8-0 game against the Houston Astros in early April. The game was already in the bag, but one of Reddick's talents is that he plays balls-to-the-wall every second of every game. Remove that intensity, and you might not get it back when you need it in a different situation. It was an unfortunate reality that we all just had to live with. It ultimately cost him his entire season, depending on who you ask, since his production never recovered.
On Thursday, Yoenis Cespedes pulled his left hamstring running out an infield hit in the seventh inning of a 10-1 game against the Houston Astros in late April. The game was already in the bag, but Cespedes is a machine who was constructed in the Carlos Hustle Factory of Hustling; he sprints out to the sidewalk to get his mail every morning, and when he surfs the channels on TV he goes so fast that no one can tell what shows he's skipping. He wasn't about to leave a hit on the table last night, and he doesn't seem like the type to give up on a game until his manager drags him away kicking and screaming.
Here is the aftermath:
Left hamstring for Cespedes, will miss a few games.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 25, 2014
This isn't too big of a deal, probably. He tweaked something, and the team is playing the Astros for the next three days. Hamstrings are notoriously difficult to project/treat/heal, so it's better to be cautious in these winnable games to give yourself a better chance of having one of your biggest stars back in the lineup for the six upcoming road games against the Rangers and Red Sox.
Interestingly, this is the time of year when Cespedes usually hits the DL. According to Baseball Prospectus, he went on the disabled list on May 8, 2012, with a hand injury (returned June 1), and then on April 13, 2013, with a thumb strain (returned April 28). I remember both of those maladies, and that reminds me that he hasn't (publicly) had an issue with his hand since the Home Run Derby last year. Due (I assume) to his violent swings and made worse by his embarrassing sliding technique (or lack thereof), those hands could continue to be an issue and I will always get worried when that issue flares up.
Legs, though? He missed nine games in June 2012 due to the same left hamstring, and he missed two more in June 2013, but that's it. He's never gone on the DL due to a leg muscle, so this pattern would suggest that we should believe the A's this time when they say "a few games." He runs a little harder than he should sometimes, which is never something you should get mad at an athlete for, and that extra hustle causes him to tweak things. Those tweaks get better quickly because he is an alien from outer space and they have much stronger muscles than we do.
Yoenis is not in today's lineup, which should be obvious to you if you read the previous 500 words. Instead, we will get Moss in left, Coco in center and Reddick in right, with Barton playing first and Callaspo DH'ing. Gentry rides the pine against the right-handed Brad Peacock.
Bummer that Yo is going to miss a few games. They are Astros games, though, which is sort of like when your favorite drama show does an offbeat comedy episode just to add variety and break up the routine. His absence couldn't come at a better time. But man, Bob Melvin, maybe start pulling your more fragile guys from the game when you take an eight-run lead against the Astros. As an added benefit, Bo Porter would probably un-write a note of approval in his unwritten diary about how you made sure not to show him up in the late innings of a blowout.