OAKLAND -- Yoenis Cespedes believes he's ready to rejoin the A's lineup. His bosses say otherwise and are aiming to reinstate him toward the end of next week.
Cespedes has been on the disabled list since May 12, retroactive to May 7, with a strained muscle in his left hand, and is slated to take batting practice prior to Saturday's afternoon contest with the Yankees. It is likely that his next step would be a rehab assignment at the Minor League level.
"There's a chance of that, yes," manager Bob Melvin confirmed Friday. "He's a guy that likes to feel comfortable. Today, he was frustrated with some of his swings because he wanted his mechanics to be perfect, so I think we're getting close to being past the physical part and more about him just feeling comfortable. We want him to be comfortable when he comes back into the lineup."
"I'm getting close," a smiling Cespedes said through an interpreter.
Cespedes took 28 swings in the inside cages Friday and said he would like to return during the A's three-game set in Minnesota that begins Monday. But a rehab stint would likely push that timetable until Friday at the earliest, when Oakland is scheduled to play the first of three contests in Kansas City.
Upon his return, Cespedes plans on taking a new grip to the plate, unlike the one that may have contributed to his hand injury. He'll no longer grip the bat with the knob rested in the palm of his hand, an adjustment that will be aided by new, tapered bats.