Freiman, who was waived by the Houston Astros in March and picked up by the A’s for some right-handed depth, will make his major-league debut against left-handed starter Joe Saunders. Tommy Milone will take the mound for Oakland.
Prior to tonight, Freiman’s professional experience only included stints in the San Diego Padres and Astros’ minor league systems. The 26-year-old had yet to appear in an MLB game — his highest level of baseball had been the Padres’ Double-A affiliate in San Antonio.
When the A’s set their 25-man roster for Opening Day, Freiman was quoted as “shaking” with excitement when he was told he made the cut. Having traded Chris Carter away to the Astros earlier in the off-season (in the Jed Lowrie deal), the A’s needed some right-handed options behind Brandon Moss at first. Moss tends to struggle against lefties, so someone like Freiman — who has a huge, powerful swing — fits the bill nicely.
He’ll bat eighth in the A’s lineup tonight, in between right fielder Josh Reddick and second baseman Scott Sizemore.
So far in the A’s two games this season, they’ve struggled mightily, only scoring one run in 18 innings. They were dominated by Felix Hernandez on Opening Night and only managed a Yoenis Cespedes solo home run against Hisashi Iwakuma and the Seattle bullpen last night. (Side note – can the A’s please play someone else next year for Opening Night?)
For tonight’s game, though, Melvin shook things up. In addition to Freiman’s first game, outfielder Chris Young will make his season debut, batting third, in place of Reddick who was dropped to seventh.
Here’s hoping tonight’s new-look lineup produces better results and the A’s manage to get themselves into the win column.