Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained muscle in his left hand after he landed awkwardly in a tumbling slide Friday night.
Cespedes had an MRI on Saturday morning before the middle game of a weekend series against Detroit. It showed no structural damage, and manager Bob Melvin says no surgery will be needed. He hopes Cespedes will return after the minimum time on the DL.
”Hopefully that’s the extent of it for him. We want to make sure he is 100 percent healthy when he comes back,” Melvin said. ”We’re not looking at surgery, so in that regard we’re fortunate.”
Cespedes strained a different muscle in the same hand last year. He was batting .200 with three home runs and seven RBI playing in the first 11 games of the season. After beginning the year 3 for 25 (.120), Cespedes hit 5 for 15 (.333) over his last four games. But he was 0 for 2 against the Tigers on Friday after getting a hit in each of his eight games facing Detroit last season.
Last season as a rookie, the Cuban defector batted .292 with 23 home runs and 82 RBI in 129 games, finishing runner-up to the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout for AL Rookie of the Year. He also hit 25 doubles and five triples while striking out 102 times.
At various points during the season, he had to deal with an injured left hamstring, a troublesome left hand that put him on the disabled list and a bone bruise in his right foot in the final weeks.
This time, Cespedes injured his hand trying to steal second base in the eighth inning of a 4-3, 12-inning win. Melvin indicated Cespedes either slipped or caught the back of his spike as he was beginning his slide and tumbled over the base, landing on his hand.
The A’s recalled outfielder Michael Taylor from Triple-A Sacramento to fill Cespedes’ roster spot. Taylor was hitting .410 with three home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and six multihit performances in nine games with the River Cats.
Center fielder Coco Crisp was off Saturday after he strained his left groin Friday. Crisp hit a tying, broken-bat single in the seventh but was replaced in the field in the top of the 10th with the injury.
Crisp is not expected to need a DL stint. Chris Young started Saturday in center field, while Seth Smith played left.
”It happened when they threw over on him a couple times (in the seventh),” Melvin said. ”He actually played with it a couple more innings and then we got uncomfortable with it. He’s feeling better today.”