Cespedes Cleans Up

The Oakland A’s are nothing if not progressive. Their Moneyballing ways prevent them from sitting on their hands in the name of tradition. They are innovators! They must innovate!

Many teams would take their time with Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes. Bring him along slowly then give him the kid gloves treatment as he acclimatised. Not the A’s, of course. Get that man to the middle of the order, stat!

After committing the above crime against a Jason Vargas offering on Friday night, the A’s shifted their superstud right into the cleanup spot for Saturday’s game – a spot he figures to stay in for the immediate future, A’s manager Bob Melvin told the San Francisco Chronicle.

”One thing I will tell you about him is he will be a middle-of-the-order fixture at some point in time. Today, he’s hitting fourth and he’s in the middle of the order. Whether it’s fifth tomorrow or whatever, we’ll see. I say this every day, but he’s getting more and more comfortable every day.”

Yoenis Cespedes has all kinds of cartoon power but contact might be an issue. Understandable for a guy with no (real) minor league experience. Based on some schools of batting order thought, the light-tower power without an abundance of on base skills make him a more ideal number 3 hitter, rather than a cleanup man.

That nominal difference aside, this is a strong signal from the A’s to their big-time signing that he is the main attraction. For a team hoping to win 80 games and draw 1.5 million fans, I can think of worse marketing strategies than focusing on the outfielder clouting tape-measure home runs.