PHOENIX -- Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick don't want to live through another year like 2013, a feeling that's shared by A's batting coach Chili Davis.
But instead of telling the slugging outfielders what they need to do when full-team workouts begin Thursday, Davis said he'll start out by listening.
"I want Cespedes and Reddick to come in thinking about what happened last year," Davis said Wednesday.
Davis said both players "have to be thinking of changes to make" so they can return to where they were in 2012. Davis wants Cespedes and Reddick to tell him what they think happened, and he wants them to know why it happened
Cespedes and Davis were in the batting cage at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, with Cespedes taking his first swings of the spring. Batting practice lasted 20 minutes or so, then Davis and Cespedes discussed hitting for another 20 minutes.
"At this point, I'm trying to see what they went home to work on," Davis said. "He (Cespedes) is sitting there me that this year he found that last year in the playoffs he found that his focus was making real good contact with pitches and he felt that he had a pretty good playoff series. He realizes now if he approaches the year with that mindset it will give him a chance to have a real good year."
Cespedes, now up to 225 pounds from his program weight of 210, says he's going to shorten his swing to make better contact. It could impact his power, but the left fielder doesn't believe so.
"Maybe if I hit a 430-foot home run, it will maybe be only 410 feet," he said during the A's recent FanFest. "But I'll do it more frequently."
Cespedes also talked about mental toughness -- that he didn't have enough of it last year. Davis said he doesn't believe that will be an issue this year with the left fielder wanting to get back to where he was in 2012 -- .292, 23 homers, 82 RBIs. Last season he hit 26 homers and drove in 80 runs, but his averaged dipped to .240.
As for Reddick, the right fielder can't wait to wash away the odor from 2013. A wrist injury that resulted in offseason surgery was a major problem, but hitting .226 with 12 homers and 56 RBIs ground at him, no matter the reason. The year before he had 32 homers and 85 RBIs.
"I needed time this winter to forget, to get away from it all," he said. "But at the same time it's hard to forget a year like last year. The thing is I'm healthy now. It's behind me."
So there will be more conversations like the one Davis had Wednesday morning with Cespedes -- with all the hitters. But Cespedes and Reddick were a good start, as those two have the muscle to stamp the A's as a contender just by themselves.
"I want them to them to be thinking, 'I'm going to swing at pitches I can hit,'----" Davis said. "I want to see what they do in BP, what they do in practice. They know the things they have to do to prepare. And if they do that, there will be better swings."
And, presumably, better results.
-- The A's had a short day Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's first full-team workout. The only pitchers to throw were lefties Sean Doolittle and Joe Savery. For Savery, who will wear No. 40, it was his first action since being claimed on waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
-- Manager Bob Melvin came as close as he could to saying talented shortstop prospect Addison Russell will not make the roster out of spring training. Melvin cited Russell's inexperience (three games above Double-A) and the A's depth at shortstop with the addition of Nick Punto. The manager said it would be a stretch to see Russell in Oakland in 2014.
-- Ryan Cook still is limited to throwing on the side, but Melvin said the reliever is stretching it out more.
-- Lefty Drew Pomeranz, who had been held back because of leg problems, will throw a bullpen Thursday.
-- Athletics general manager Billy Beane told this newspaper on Wednesday that the team would be welcoming if asked to open the season next year in Taiwan, a possibility first raised in the San Francisco Chronicle. "I haven't heard that," Beane said, "but opening overseas is good for baseball, and we've always had good experiences there." The A's have opened overseas twice, in 2008 and 2012, both times in Toyko.
-- Shortstop Jed Lowrie, a semi-professional photographer in the offseason specializing in travel and vistas, didn't have his usual time off. "I spent all my time photographing my daughter (seven weeks old)," he said. "I'm in my portrait phase, I guess."
-- Melvin said he could see the A's running more, especially because of the speed of newcomer Craig Gentry in the outfield.
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