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Yoenis Cespedes homers, drives in another run in a spectacular spring training debut

Mar 10, 2012, 4:48 PM EDT

Yoenis Cespedes AP

Yes, I know it’s spring training and that spring training doesn’t matter. But I believe in Yoenis CespedesI am, officially, a Cespedesphile.

Wait. That doesn’t sound quite right. We have time to work on it, though. It’s spring training for wannabe members of the not-yet-invented Yoenis Cespedes fan club, too.

Anyway, a full house — or close to it — here in Phoenix today saw A’s center fielder Yoeins Cespedes make his spring training debut in Oakland’s 6-3 win over Cincinnati. And it was a great one.

His first at bat was not, technically, an at bat. He walked on six pitches, never once taking the bat off his shoulder. I suppose you could say that was anti-climactic . But you could also say that it was good that he was willing to take pitches and look and see what a guy he’s never faced before — Johnny Cueto — had to offer.

And heck, I would too, as Cueto seems to have changed his delivery and now does the full-blown Luis Tiant thing, which is pretty cool. Lots of crazy looks from him these days. Love it.

Cespedes’ next plate appearance came in the second inning. One out, runners at the corners. This time he swung the bat twice. First to foul one off, the second time to knock a single up the middle, driving in the A’s third run of the game. Welcome to the majors, Yoeins.

The big at bat came in the fourth, leading off. He fell behind Jeff Francis 1-2, and then was way ahead on three straight sliders, fouling them hard past third. People in the press box made noises about him being set up for high heat (never mind the fact that Francis doesn’t have high heat). Nope: Cespedes waited and jacked the next pitch over the left field wall for a homer and his second RBI of the day. It was not a cheapie. Not by a long shot.

On the defensive side, he had his first defensive chance in the third inning, snagging a Brandon Phillips fly ball. It didn’t require any serious ranging or anything. Another fly ball from Daryl Jones in the fourth. I’m still wondering if he’s gonna stick at center field. Hard to justify it with Coco Crisp around unless — as Crisp says — he’s a demigod. As it was, there was nothing in today’s game to give us any indication. Which was frustrating because I want to know the answer to every conceivable question about the guy now, in one spring training game. DON’T MAKE ME WAIT FOR THE REGULAR SEASON.

Sorry. Got a little carried away there. I think the Arizona sun is getting to me. Or maybe it’s Cespedes Fever.  Because, guys, I have it.

  1. drama419 - Mar 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Hard not to start believing the hype, but it’s spring training…..deep breath….relax

  2. phatnate - Mar 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    People in the press box made noises about him being set up for high heat (never mind the fact that Francis doesn’t have high heat). …..great line.

  3. lostsok - Mar 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Francis has “high heat.” But only because the ball has plenty of time to fire up a doobie on the way to the plate…

  4. raidernation831 - Mar 10, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    I know it’s early, but excited A’s fan here!!!

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Lemme guess, Cespedes is bald.

    • davebrownspiral - Mar 11, 2012 at 1:09 AM

      Not only is he bald, he defected from Cuba for the purposes of religious freedom in order to practice Voodoo. He apparently stole one of Cliff Pennington’s golf club covers to use as “hats for bats” and has trouble with the curveball.

  6. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Wait, if Cespedes is bald AND in the BSOML AND likes StarWars, then he might need a restraining order from that Calcaterra dude.

  7. APBA Guy - Mar 11, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Positive news is always welcome for the A’s, even when it;s just Spring training.

  8. eastcoastblows - Mar 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    ¡Cuba Libre!

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