Yoenis Cespedes tests shoulder in batting practice, hopes to play in Game 1 of ALDS on Friday

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The news is promising on Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who battled right shoulder soreness for the final two weeks of the 2013 regular season.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Cespedes felt “a little bit better” after taking batting practice in a team workout Tuesday at O.co Coliseum and expects to start ALDS Game 1 on Friday evening against the visiting Tigers.

Cespedes, 27, batted .240/.294/.442 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 135 games this season for the American League West champions. He was 6-for-19 (.316) with a double, two steals and two RBI in last year’s ALDS loss to Detroit.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.