ANAHEIM -- It was a third consecutive day Sunday that A's manager Bob Melvin was not able to write Yoenis Cespedes' name on the Oakland lineup card, and there's no telling when that will change.
Cespedes, out with a sore left wrist, isn't likely to be able to play in the first game of a series against the Astros that begins Monday in Houston.
"Until he actually gets in the batting cage and swings freely and then gets in there for batting practice (Cespedes won't play),'' Melvin said Sunday morning. "I'd doubt tomorrow. We want to make sure he gets in swings on the field.''
Melvin said he sees it as a two-day process, hitting in the cages the first day, then taking a full batting practice session on the next. It was in batting practice Friday that the left wrist first became an issue, and the A's don't want it to be a recurring thing, so they seem willing to err on the side of caution.
Oakland, which lost its first two post-All-Star Break games without Cespedes in the lineup, clearly needs its left fielder. The A's are 20 games over .500 (49-29) when Cespedes is a member of the starting lineup and just 7-12 when he's absent.
The A's want to measure the progress he's made since his right foot (stress fracture) came out of the walking cast that had been his constant companion for two months.
The left-handed Anderson, the club's opening day starting pitcher, is a possibility for an August return to the rotation.
This bullpen session, if it goes well, may be the clearance for Anderson to throw in the near future against live hitters in batting practice. And that will have to happen before he gets cleared to go out on an injury rehabilitation assignment, the final step before returning to the rotation.
Grant Balfour, the team's All-Star closer, is the only Major League closer without a blown save. He's 25-for-25 when given the chance to finish out a win for the A's this season and has a streak of 43 games without a blown save working.
Right-handed setup man Ryan Cook has not allowed a home run in 51.2 innings this season, the most innings without a homer by any American League pitcher. Dating back to last season, he's gone 67.2 homerless innings, the sixth longest such streak by an A's reliever.