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Cespedes works on retooled swing in Minors game

PHOENIX -- Yoenis Cespedes wasn't in the A's lineup Saturday, but that didn't stop the struggling left fielder from getting in a few in-game at-bats.

Cespedes took his new-look swing over to the A's Minor League game, doubling and walking in four at-bats in a low-pressure environment.

"Even though in a Spring Training game he shouldn't feel that type of pressure," said manager Bob Melvin, "doing that allows you to really work on things and process things a bit more."

Coming off a down 2013 season in which he collected 26 homers but hit just .240, Cespedes ranks near the bottom in several offensive categories among all players this spring, with his .130 average and .337 OPS. He's sporting a shorter swing he hopes will eventually lead to more contact, but finding the right timing with it has been troublesome -- and plenty frustrating for the Cuban.

He has just two hits in his last 30 at-bats, with five strikeouts in his last seven.

"For him, it's just about getting a couple hits, and then he'll be off to the races," Melvin said. "It's just that when you're continually having some bad at-bats and just can't find your way, sometimes it makes some sense to go over there and just get a few more at-bats. He likes a lot of at-bats."

Asked if Cespedes could potentially go back to his original swing, Melvin said, "Maybe it's a little bit of a hybrid."

"We obviously don't want to take his power away from him," Melvin explained, "and we want him to be comfortable in what he's doing, so maybe find a happy medium."

Jane Lee is a reporter for
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