SEATTLE -- Yoenis Cespedes shoulder troubles are a matter of concern to the A's, but they're not sure how large the problem is just yet.

The left fielder, who came out of Friday's game -- his first start in left in two weeks -- after just two at-bats when his shoulder pain returned, didn't throw or hit before Saturday's game against the Seattle Mariners.

It's not certain if he'll be able to do either on Sunday as well, and the playoffs start Friday for the A's at the Coliseum.

"We won't know (how concerned to be) until we figure out how severe it is," manager Bob Melvin said. "He does have a swing that creates a lot of torque.''

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, right, walks with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, left, during batting practice before a baseball game against the
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, right, walks with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, left, during batting practice before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at Safeco Field in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) ( Ted S. Warren )

During the two weeks when he was limited to designated hitter work, Cespedes had an MRI done that showed tendinitis but no other structural problem. There are no plans now to have another MRI, but it can't be ruled out entirely.

The A's badly need Cespedes to be able to play in the field, but at this point they'd probably be happy just to have him in the lineup as the DH and work around that.

The problem is that he was able to swing without pain those first two weeks after the shoulder pain — the result of trying to make a diving catch in the Coliseum earlier this month — popped up the first time.

So having pain while swinging is a new level of concern.

  • Nate Freiman has been cleared to play, although the first baseman wasn't in the A's starting lineup Saturday.

    Freiman, who had abdominal pain that has kept him out of action for almost two weeks, took a full on-field batting practice Friday and hit in the cage with the A's on Saturday when Oakland didn't have a batting practice session.

    With Oakland starting a left-hander, rookie James Paxton, in the regular-season finale Sunday, Freiman is likely to get on final regular season start.

  • The A's are beginning to make preparations for the four days between the end of the regular season Sunday and the start of the playoffs Friday.

    Monday will be an off day for the players while the coaches and Melvin will probably meet with general manager Billy Beane and the front office staff to work on setting the roster for the first round of the playoffs.

    The A's tentatively are scheduled for a 1 p.m. workout Tuesday, and will work out Wednesday and Thursday as well, but the times of those could be changed depending on the time slot the A's draw for the Friday opener.

    If it's scheduled for, for example, 5 p.m., the A's would try to have at least one workout about then so the players could get used to the shadows as they cross the field at that time of day.

  • Melvin said he probably knows Mariners manager Eric Wedge as well as any American League manager, given that the two teams started the season in Japan last year and the two teams play 19 times in the regular season in addition to spring training.

    The A's manager said he was sorry to see Wedge say he'd mange the final weekend of the season, but wouldn't return to Seattle.

    It turns out that Wedge isn't a bit sorry to go. After seeing the club executives talk as if a contract disagreement got in the way of his return, Wedge said Saturday morning that's not the way it is.``Let me be clear here: the contract is not the reason I'm not coming back here,'' Wedge said. ``If they'd offered me a five-year contract, I wouldn't have come back here. So, let's be clear with that.''

    Asked to expound on that, Wedge obliged.

    ``It's where they see the club," he said. ``They being Howard (Lincoln, the CEO), Chuck (Armstrong, the team president) and Jack (Zduriencik, the general manager). And where I see the club and my vision for the future and theirs, it's just different. And that's about as plain as I can make it.''