OAKLAND -- Never mind the pitching-friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum. Yoenis Cespedes, gradually acclimating to his new digs, says if he hits the ball well, "the ball's gone."
The A's newest outfielder is more concerned about a different aspect of his big home: the weather. When asked about the cold conditions in the Bay Area, Cespedes smiled and told reporters through his translator Ariel Prieto that he's going to try to "fix it."
"He's going to try to do something about it," Prieto said, laughing.
Cespedes appears capable of many things, but controlling the temperature likely isn't one of them. In the meantime, he'll focus on what he can manage -- like working his way up in the lineup. For the club's home opener and his first regular-season game in Oakland on Friday, Cespedes was placed in the No. 5 spot in the order, after batting seventh and sixth, respectively, in the two-game Opening Series in Japan last week.
"I've said all along, we expect him to be a middle-of-the-order bat," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's got tremendous power. He's got the ability to drive in runs. We're not trying to put too much on his plate. He's got enough going on. But at some point in time, we'll sneak him up there. And maybe inching him up day by day or game by game, he won't notice when he's in the four hole one day."
Either way, it likely wouldn't faze the right-handed hitter, who entered the day as one of only two batters -- Cliff Pennington being the other -- who has hit safely in each of the first two games.
"I feel a lot better, really relaxed," Cespedes said.
The 26-year-old Cuban defector relayed that he felt "great and happy at the same time" when speaking of his Oakland debut, and said he hopes the fans "support me in the good times and bad times."
"I'm going to try to look for good pitches and make good contact," Cespedes said. "No matter how I hit the ball, if I find the ball I'm looking for, if I hit it and if it's gone, it's gone."
The spacious outfield, meanwhile, shouldn't prove too heavy a task for the speedster, who has been relying on left fielder Coco Crisp for some insight into the park's characteristics. Right fielder Josh Reddick, also new to Oakland, believes Cespedes is acclimating just fine, and jokingly called him a "ball hog."
"I guess that's a good thing, right?" Reddick said. "He's definitely taking charge out there, and that's what you want out of your center fielder. You just have to learn to know where he's out and get out of his way, because he's a little bit bigger than I am. So I don't want to be running into him."