Updates from Wednesday, July 2
The Oakland Athletics own the best record in baseball but are currently fighting through injuries to critical players, most notably outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
The 2013 Home Run Derby champion left Monday's game against Detroit with a left hamstring injury. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle posted a picture of Oakland's lineup prior to Tuesday's game at Comerica Park, which didn't include Cespedes.
Despite Cespedes' absence on Tuesday, there's the potential that he can avoid a stint on the disabled list. Slusser spoke to the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up prior to the game, and he said that tightness is the problem.
The A's have climbed to the top of the mountain with a 51-31 record through 82 games without playing their best baseball. Josh Donaldson was a mess in June, hitting .181/.223/.286, and Josh Reddick continues to be plagued by injuries.
Cespedes has provided a nice bridge in the heart of Oakland's order this season with a .497 slugging percentage and 14 home runs. It's also been a strong bounce-back campaign for him following the disappointing .240/.294/.442 line last year.
In addition to his prodigious power, Cespedes has been making the highlight reels for his defensive prowess—specifically his arm strength, which is often needed because of misplays with the glove.
The A's don't boast a deep farm system at the moment. Most of their high-end talent is in the lower levels, and outfield depth isn't prevalent at the upper levels. Cespedes doesn't sound like he's worried about the injury, so hopefully the slugger is back on the field in a day or two.