Leon joins A’s, Cespedes returns to lineup

Published: Tuesday, May. 6, 2014 - 5:39 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 7, 2014 - 12:08 am

OAKLAND -- Arnold Leon will be activated by the A’s for Wednesday’s doubleheader against Seattle, but it hasn’t been determined yet whether Leon will start game two. That job could also go to Drew Pomeranz, depending on whether Pomeranz is needed tonight in relief. If not, Pomeranz is a pretty good bet to start.

Still, Leon will be making his big-league debut on an active roster, and the 25-year-old is understandably excited. Leon joined the A’s organization in 2008, when they purchased his contract from Saltillo of the Mexican League, but the right-hander had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and missed most of that season and 2011 before returning fully in 2012.

Leon impressed the A’s this spring and is 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Sacramento. He’s with the A’s today and said River Cats manager Steve Scarsone came into the clubhouse after Sacramento’s game on Monday night "and told everybody that I’m going to be in the big leagues, so pretty excited."

Leon said his mother and father are flying in from Culiacan, Mexico, for the occasion -- he said his mom visited him this spring, but his father hasn’t seen him pitch since 2012 -- and his wife and seven-month-old son will be in Oakland as well.

"I was expecting this from the beginning that I signed with the A’s, but I didn’t know it was going to take so long," Leon said. "I lost two years (to Tommy John), and to come from that surgery I think is a big success for me, because I didn’t expect to be healthy again. Very proud."

Melvin said he’ll make a decision on his game two starter before the first game of the doubleheader tomorrow (first pitch is at 12:35 p.m.). If Leon doesn’t start, he’ll be an option out of the bullpen.

"It really seemed this spring he looked like he belonged, was more confident throwing to big-league hitters," Melvin said. "I told him that at the end of spring -- you put yourself in a position to be a viable option for us this year. And here he is."

* Melvin said Josh Reddick (ankle) is "a lot better today" and an option off the bench as Craig Gentry is starting in right field again. Here’s the A’s lineup behind Jesse Chavez:

CF Crisp

SS Lowrie

3B Donaldson

LF Cespedes

C Norris

DH Callaspo

RF Gentry

1B Moss

2B Punto

And the Mariners’ lineup behind left-hander Roenis Elias:

RF Saunders

CF Jones

2B Cano

DH Hart

1B Smoak

3B Seager

LF Ackley

C Zunino

SS Miller

* Yoenis Cespedes is back in the lineup after entering Monday night’s game as a pinch hitter. Melvin said he felt better about starting Cespedes tonight after seeing him test his hamstring coming in to make a catch on a sinking line drive.

* Reliever Eric O’Flaherty threw a 30-pitch bullpen session today and is getting close to facing hitters, Melvin said. O’Flaherty may throw one more bullpen session before taking that next step, but Melvin said the reliever is "itching to throw to hitters, so we’re really close to that."

* Having Ryan Cook throw two innings in relief Monday night was designed in part to keep the bullpen fresh for Wednesday’s doubleheader, Melvin said. It helped that Cook needed just 22 pitches to complete the two scoreless innings. Right now, Melvin said the bullpen is "in pretty good shape."

* Stephen Vogt (oblique strain) hasn’t begun playing games again for Sacramento, but Melvin said Vogt is "back on schedule and has had no hiccups along the way. … He’s close to playing."

* One note on that doubleheader tomorrow -- with the second game scheduled to start 30 minutes after the end of the first, it’ll be just the second "traditional" doubleheader the A’s have played at home in the last 16 years. The other was on July 16, 2011 -- they split against the Los Angeles Angels.


Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at sacbee.com/mlb. Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara



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