Wednesday night’s game was important for new members of the Oakland Athletics, and for the team as a whole. Not only was it the major league debut of first baseman Nate Freiman, but it was also the first appearance in the lineup by outfielder Chris Young, obtained in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks back in October. Jed Lowrie was moved up to the two spot in the lineup and contributed three hits, making manager Bob Melvin look pretty smart.
In the A’s three games against the Seattle Mariners this season, returning outfielders Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp haven’t really done much with the bat. Crisp has one base hit so far and Reddick is still at .000. That’s where Oakland’s deep roster can really help pick up the slack.
Obviously, the A’s would have preferred to begin 2013 with some easy victories, rather than starting out 1-2. They were dominated by Felix Hernandez on Opening Night and struggled against Hisashi Iwakuma on Tuesday, but managed to right the ship on Wednesday, thanks to the efforts of a new lineup (including Freiman’s first big-league hit) and the efforts of starter Tommy Milone. If the A’s are going to go anywhere this season and build upon 2012′s success, they’ll have to get this kind of effort on a daily basis.
Based on these first three games, Melvin seems willing to throw out different lineups if he sees fit–which is necessary when you’re rotating players around key positions like second base, first base and the three outfield spots. It’ll be a juggling act, but Melvin seems up to the task so far.