Crisp close to return; Cespedes improving

Crisp close to return; Cespedes improving

Crisp close to return; Cespedes improving
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp rejoined the A's on Friday in San Francisco, and it appears the latter could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Sunday.

Crisp, who was eligible to be lifted off the DL on Friday, took batting practice with the team and engaged in full baseball activity, all the while appearing fully healed from an inner ear infection that has allowed him to play in just 18 games this season.

The plan is for him to do the same Saturday, at which point the A's will decide his next step, whether it be a possible Minor League rehab stint or a return to Oakland's lineup.

Cespedes, meanwhile, acknowledged his left hand feels better, but there's still no timetable on when he'll begin swinging a bat again. The center fielder was scheduled to see a doctor later in the evening and is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Collin Cowgill received his eighth straight start in center field Friday, with Jonny Gomes playing in left in Crisp's stead.

"We hold down the fort now, and I think this is when the bench players, the role players, they really come to the front," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's their time to feel good about their place, and certainly in the National League games you use the whole roster. It's their time to shine."