A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is making steady progress from the strained muscle in his left hand.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Athletics manager Bob Melvin announced on Tuesday evening that Cespedes has been cleared for “all baseball activity” expect hitting.
That means he’s playing catch, shagging balls and running. And should soon begin working with a tee.
Cespedes is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list early next week and seems likely to be ready right around then.
The 26-year-old Cuban center fielder was batting .245/.319/.434 with five home runs, five doubles, four stolen bases and 21 RBI through the first 119 plate appearances of his major league career.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.