3/16/2014 8:46 P.M. ET
Cespedes struggling with shorter swing
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Yoenis Cespedes entered camp with a shorter, compact swing, and he was hoping for more contact after an inconsistent 2013 season. So far it's yielded very little, though.
The A's outfielder isn't overly concerned since it's only Spring Training, but the fact that he's just 4-for-36 (.111) with no home runs through his first 13 games has warranted questions about his ability to make these desired adjustments in time for Opening Day.
"I have some good days, some days bad," Cespedes said through translator and coach Ariel Prieto on Sunday, after another hitless day. "It's a little difficult for me to change the swing I've always had in my life."
Specifically, Cespedes is struggling with the timing that comes along with a shorter swing and shorter stride, noting, "It's completely different." Having patience with the process hasn't been easy for him.
"I think he's frustrated right now," said manager Bob Melvin. "He's trying to work on things and incorporate them into the game, which is difficult.
"Obviously the numbers aren't indicative of what he does, and we don't really look at Spring Training numbers, but I think he's just frustrated at this point because he wants to see the results of some of the adjustments he's making and the hard work he's putting in, and he will."
At times, Melvin sees that shorter swing from Cespedes. Other times, "after a couple at-bats, he gets a little angry and wants to hit a ball a mile," said Melvin, "but then realizes the next day that he has to work on the things that he needs to work on.
"He's quite the competitor," Melvin continued. "If he doesn't see results right away, it's difficult at times for him to stay with it. But then the next day he realizes he needs to do that, and my feeling is it's going to be beneficial for him."
"Maybe, yes, I'm a little bit frustrated," Cespedes said, "because I'm trying to do the best that I can, and nothing's going on. But I don't worry too much about it, because the way that I prepared myself during the offseason, I'm sure I'm going to be good during the season, with a short swing or with a long swing.
"I still have two weeks."
• Craig Gentry (back) took batting practice for the first time in nearly a month on Sunday, taking half of a typical round. He remains a few days away from being game-ready, though the A's remain hopeful he can be at full strength by Opening Day and avoid the disabled list.
• Fernando Rodriguez is scheduled to throw in a simulated game on Monday, while Eric O'Flaherty is set for another bullpen session. Both are progressing from Tommy John surgery.