Note To Self: Trade Yoenis Cespedes

Trade Yoenis Cespedes? Are you crazy, Erik? Three of his first four hits left the yard! He'll steal bases too! He's hitting .308 (well, .250 after Monday's game) and has entrenched himself as the A's cleanup hitter! What's not to like here?

How about nine strikeouts and one walk in 16 at-bats?

NINE. In SIXTEEN AT-BATS. To re-state it in a more alarming way, almost half his plate appearances have resulted in K's (in addition to the walk, he's got two HBPs). That's not a swing with holes in it, that's a chasm with a swing hanging onto the cliff's edge by its fingernails. Keep in mind this is coming against pitchers who don't yet have a book on him.

OK, sure, maybe he's been swinging from his heels to try and justify his contract, and his contact rate will improve. Yes, agreed, it's a teeny tiny sample size. But it's not like the strikeouts have come against entirely elite pitching. King Felix got him three times over two games, but Tom Wilhemsen also rang him up twice as did the immortal Luis Mendoza. The other two whiffs came courtesy of Jason Vargas and Steve Delabar, the guy who was coaching high school a year ago who isn't Dennis Quaid.

Would trading him now be an overreaction? Of course. Any trade made a week into the season is almost by definition an overreaction to something, whether it's a player's performance and/or perceived weakness coming out of the auction or draft. But what seems more likely: Cespedes stops having to face the terrifying likes of Luis Mendoza every night, or the Luis Mendoza's of the world stop grooving fastballs until he learns to hit their adequate breaking pitches?


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