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03/07/12 7:15 PM EST

Cespedes has stellar simulated game

PHOENIX -- Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes participated in a simulated game on Wednesday afternoon, and had four hits -- including a home run -- in five at-bats, manager Bob Melvin said.

"I know he was pretty happy about it," Melvin said. "It was a real productive day for him, which moves us a little bit farther in the process. We'll look to do that again [on Thursday] if that's going on over there. And we'll see where we are this weekend."

Melvin said it was "reasonable" to expect Cespedes to make his Cactus League debut this weekend, if all goes well up until that point.

Cespedes has been participating in drills since he first took the field in Phoenix on Sunday, and the team is monitoring him offensively and defensively. Part of what Melvin and his staff want to see is how well Cespedes fields his outfield position.

"It's tough to tell, but certainly his foot speed is great and he moves around well," Melvin said. "But I haven't seen him go after enough balls to really get a read on how his defense will be.

Walks plague A's in tie with Dodgers

PHOENIX -- The A's pitchers did a nice job of turning trouble into double plays on Wednesday against the Dodgers. But manager Bob Melvin was more concerned with how they got into that trouble in the first place.

"We walked too many guys," Melvin said. "It was a little disappointing after [Tuesday], when [we] threw 80 percent strikes -- or something along those lines. Today, we just walked too many guys. And that's why [we] were in jams, that's why they scored runs -- because we walked guys."

Oakland's pitchers -- six hurlers logged at least an inning -- registered eight walks, but got the Dodgers to ground into three double plays.

"You outnumber the [offense] nine to one. Just use the defense and let them work," said starter Tyson Ross, who tossed three scoreless innings and induced two double plays. "We've got a lot of talented infielders out there, and they make my job easier when I can just roll a ground ball and let them work."

Reliever Jim Miller walked four batters in one inning, while Brian Fuentes walked two and Fautino De Los Santos walked one. Neil Wagner and Edgar Gonzalez did not walk a batter in three combined innings.

Melvin discusses health of trio

PHOENIX -- Oakland manager Bob Melvin updated reporters about the statuses of infielders Adam Rosales and Daric Barton, as well as left-hander Brett Anderson, before the A's Cactus League game on Wednesday against the visiting Dodgers at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. According to the skipper:

• Rosales, recovering from left-shoulder soreness after falling while running the bases last week, took batting practice on Wednesday. If everything goes well, Rosales will play on Thursday against the Dodgers.

• Barton, who had a second cortisone shot in his surgically-repaired right shoulder on Monday, still needs a day or so to recover. The shot typically requires a player to be shut down for three days, and Melvin said the next step will be hitting. "Hopefully, because of the shots, we get a little farther along with the throwing, but I'm not sure yet," Melvin said.

• Anderson had another throwing session on Tuesday, which Melvin observed. The manager said the pitcher looked good, "almost to the point where you have to try to hold him back." Anderson's recovery from Tommy John surgery has been encouraging, and Melvin said the ball is coming out of the southpaw's hand like it would in a normal bullpen session. "I'm surprised to see him feel good every time like he does," Melvin said. "Usually, you hit a little bit of a wall at some point in time. But his elbow feels great."

Worth noting

• Oakland designated hitter Manny Ramirez, who was slotted into the cleanup spot in the lineup, was a late scratch due to back stiffness on Wednesday. He was replaced by Chris Carter, who went 1-for-4 with a run, a walk and two strikeouts. Melvin said after the game that Ramirez was taking swings before the game and experienced some tightness. The skipper added that Ramirez would have the day off on Thursday, and will likely return Friday against the Rockies in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.