Inbox: Will Cespedes make the trip to Japan?
Beat reporter Jane Lee answers fans' questions
Will Yoenis Cespedes travel with the team to Japan, and do you think he'll begin the season on the A's 25-man roster?
-- Dave F., Fremont, Calif.
I can't imagine the A's leaving Cespedes behind, not after what they've seen from him so far, even in a small sample size. I think they've been just as impressed with his plate discipline -- coming in, there were questions surrounding his ability to showcase that much -- as the power that was already well documented. No one else on the team reads like a three- or four-hitter as Cespedes does, and it doesn't appear that those expectations will hamper his progression, based on the calm manner he's displayed from the get-go. His adjustment period will surely continue. But unless he endures glaring struggles in the next week, expect to see him in the A's Opening Day lineup.
What's your prediction for the starting outfield? Any chance Coco Crisp and Cespedes rotate between center field and designated hitter?
-- Joey P., Walnut Creek, Calif.
The A's have enough options at DH without adding Crisp and Cespedes to the mix. I suspect they'll keep Cespedes in his natural center-field position and shift Crisp to left, with Josh Reddick in right. That leaves Seth Smith without a starting outfield job, meaning he'll likely start the season sharing DH duties with Jonny Gomes.
What do you think about Grant Green moving back to the infield? There's obviously no depth there, so why not let him play third base?
-- Kyle L., Chico, Calif.
It's a fair question, considering Green seemed destined for a career at shortstop before his transition to center field began last year. I'm sure Green wouldn't mind moving back to familiar territory, either, but the A's are intent on continuing his grooming process in the outfield. The A's believe his bat translates well there, and it's really what will get him to the Majors. How soon, though, is the question. It seems Green will have plenty of time to continue work in the Minors, as the A's have found a center fielder in Cespedes and also have another in Michael Choice waiting in the wings.
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How do you think the rotation shakes out? I hope to see Tyson Ross in there.
-- Joey P., Walnut Creek, Calif.
It was long suggested that there would be two spots up for grabs in the A's rotation. But with lefty Dallas Braden seemingly out of the mix until May, there's really three jobs to be had by the time camp breaks. At this point, I think it's a safe bet that one belongs to Tommy Milone, whose sharp command and keen knowledge of the strike zone has been just as advertised. Beyond him, I'd think Ross and Jarrod Parker are strong bets for the final spots, which would leave Brad Peacock and Graham Godfrey behind at Triple-A to begin the year. Ross has quietly put together a solid spring, while Parker has, on many occasions, showcased the stuff that made the A's pull the trigger on the Trevor Cahill deal.
Are the games against the Mariners in Japan going to be televised?
-- Josh E., Oakland, Calif.
MLB Network will televise the two games on tape delay, to be played at 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. PST on March 28 and 29. Also, 95.7 FM The Game and the Oakland A's Radio Network will broadcast the games live, with the first game beginning at 3:10 a.m. PST on March 28 and the series finale being aired at 2:10 a.m. PST on March 29.