Yoenis Cespedes is eligible to come off the disabled list today, but the A’s center fielder isn’t ready to return from a strained muscle in his left hand.
Cespedes was cleared for baseball activities last week and has said his hand feels better, but Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that he hasn’t been able to swing a bat yet and until that happens without any problems there can’t be a timetable for rejoining the lineup.
Prior to the injury Cespedes dropped jaws with his monstrous power and hit .245 with five homers, four steals, and a .753 OPS in 28 games, which qualifies as excellent production for an Oakland team that ranks dead last in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, and runs scored.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.