Bay Area Baseball

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October 1, 2013
Cespedes' Game 1 status uncertain, plus A's likely ALDS roster

OAKLAND -- Yoenis Cespedes took batting practice during the A's team workout today and hit a few of his signature lasers into the Coliseum seats. But the A's still aren't sure in what capacity Cespedes will be available to them when they open the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

Cespedes is still nursing a sore right shoulder and while he told reporters today he intends to start in left field in Game 1 on Friday, manager Bob Melvin sounded more cautious. Melvin said Cespedes wouldn't play catch until Wednesday, with the possibility of being used as a DH in the series opener if his sore right shoulder is still bothering him.

"We'll take what we can get," Melvin said. "Hopefully we'll get him in the outfield."

Melvin said that based on his conversations with Cespedes "and how he feels right now, I think there's a reasonably good chance at the very least he'll be DHing on Friday."

* Meanwhile, Melvin laid out a pretty clear picture of what the rest of the A's roster will look like against the Tigers.

Melvin said the A's will carry three catchers -- Stephen Vogt, Derek Norris and Kurt Suzuki -- which gives Melvin the flexibility of substituting to get a match-up he likes. With four right-handers in the Tigers rotation, Vogt would seem in line to get most of the starts, but Melvin indicated he'll be willing to make early moves if a situation calls for it.

First baseman Daric Barton will also be on the roster, Melvin said, while Nate Freiman will not. Freiman is still hampered by an abdominal strain, and it's not certain he would have made the ALDS roster anyway, as -- again -- he's a right-handed hitter. Melvin said Freiman will travel with the team, as will injured starter A.J. Griffin and Tommy Milone, who went 12-9 this season but lost his roster spot late in the year.

"They're a part of this team," Melvin said.

The A's bullpen will include Brett Anderson, Grant Balfour, Jerry Blevins, Jesse Chavez, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Dan Otero. Melvin said he hadn't decided how he'll order the infield from game to game -- particularly at second base, where both Eric Sogard and Alberto Callaspo have played against righties -- but right now it sounds like the 25-man roster will look like this:

C (3): Norris, Suzuki, Vogt

INF (6): Barton, Callaspo, Donaldson, Lowrie, Moss, Sogard

OF (5): Cespedes, Crisp, Reddick, Smith, Young

SP (4): Colon, Gray, Griffin, Straily

RP (7): Anderson, Balfour, Blevins, Chavez, Cook, Doolittle, Otero

* Melvin said both Griffin and Freiman could be options for the A.L. Championship Series roster if they recover enough by then and if the A's make it that far. He said the same of catcher John Jaso (concussion), who has recently been playing in instructional league games and rejoined the A's for their workout Monday.

Jaso would most likely not be able to catch if he did play, which could hurt his chances. Still, Melvin left that window open.

"He's come a long way," Melvin said. "He's feeling great at the plate. He hit a home run the other day. He's walking, he's seeing the ball well."

* A bit of interesting insight from Brandon Moss: The first baseman was asked today to compare last year's team with this year's and said last year's may have gotten a little too caught up in their surprise run to the postseason.

"It's pretty much the same team with a few different pieces," Moss said. "But it's a more experienced team and a team that I don't think we're just happy to be here this year.

"I think we expect to play well. We played well last year, but I think last year it was a happy-to-be-here thing, and, 'Let's just see what we can do.' This year it's more of a 'Let's get this done' type of attitude."

* A note on ticket availability: As of this afternoon, the A's had sold out Game 1 of the ALDS, while under 1,000 tickets remained for Game 2, a team spokesman said. View level (third deck) seats remained available for a potential Game 5 and all potential ALCS home games.

* The A's work out again Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Tigers arrive Thursday, when both teams will work out and managers and players from both teams will address the media.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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