Freiman realizing life-long dream

Freiman realizing life-long dream
April 3, 2013, 5:30 pm
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OAKLAND -- When first baseman Nate Freiman found out that he made the Oakland Athletics 25-man roster, he described the moment as unbelievable. When he arrived at the Oakland Coliseum at 12:30 p.m. and saw his name in the A's lineup it got real.

Freiman, 26, has never played a game above Double-A. On Wednesday, he'll be starting at first base in the big leagues for the first time.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet and I don't know when it will," said Freiman, who compared experiencing his big league debut to the day he married his wife, Amanda Blumenherst, a professional golfer on the LPGA tour.

The 6'8" first baseman has played 483 Minor League games. Last season in Double-A he hit 24 home runs and drove in 105 runs. In his mind, that pales in comparison to what he is about to experience when in his MLB debut.

Fortunately for Freiman, he got a taste of the big league atmosphere when he started in an exhibition game on Friday in front of 42,808 people at AT&T Park. He believes that experience will go along way in settling his nerves before his debut.

"There won't be anybody on the field with a bigger smile on their face than him," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It has to be rewarding for him."

Freiman's story gives the A's a reason to feel good after starting the season 0-2 against the Seattle Mariners. Oakland's hitters are 3-for-30 in their first two games and have only scored one run. With some major tweaks to the lineup, the team hopes to jump start the offense.

"Non-hitting can be contagious too," Melvin cautioned.

With Freiman, outfielder Chris Young, catcher Derek Norris, and second baseman Scott Sizemore in the starting lineup for the first time this season, the team might be able to turn the page from their slow start.

"We just try to individualize the day, we try not to take that with us," Melvin said. "Sometimes that's easier said than done, but I also like to get guys involved, everyone involved in the first series."

-- Prior to the game injured shortstop Hiro Nakajima stretched on the field with his teammates. It is the second day in a row he has been working out with the team as he recovers from a strained left hamstring.

"He may take it a little further today," Melvin said.

Adam Rosales, who is on the 15-day DL with an intercostal strain, is getting close to being able to play catch and is expected to hit off a tee soon.