OAKLAND – Nate Freiman continues to work through a strained muscle in his abdomen, and A’s manager Bob Melvin said it’s possible the first baseman misses the entire upcoming series against the Los Angeles Angels.
The right-handed hitting Freiman had been starting regularly against left-handed pitchers, but he hasn’t appeared in a game since Monday. Freiman said he injured himself swinging a bat several days ago. He’s been receiving extensive treatment but is not swinging a bat right now.
“He won’t be available today,” Melvin said before Sunday’s series finale against Minnesota. “I would say there’s a chance he might not play in the Angels series either.”
The A’s open a three-game set Monday in Anaheim.
Freiman said the pain is centered toward the left side of his midsection.
“It doesn’t bother me to do anything but swing a bat, which tells me it’s not anything real serious,” he said.
With FReiman out, Daric Barton has been getting the majority of time at first base, even against left-handers.
Superstitious as ever, Melvin will not discuss any potential postseason plans until the A’s clinch a playoff spot. Their magic number is 1 to clinch the division, so they can do that either with a win Sunday or a Texas loss at Kansas City.
He did say that he wants the A’s to continue playing hard and winning games after (or rather, if) they sew up a spot in the postseason.
“You start thinking about potentials of this and that, those are just distractions we don’t need,” he said. “We want to play well today and continue to play well throughout the course of the regular season. And if we’re lucky enough to get in the playoffs, hopefully we’re on a good roll going into it.”
Even a four-hit game Saturday couldn’t help Alberto Callaspo crack Sunday’s lineup. Eric Sogard drew the start at second base against Twins right-hander Cole De Vries. Such is the left/right platoon system that the A’s have stuck faithfully to all season.
“It doesn’t mean he won’t be in there at some point,” Melvin said. “He gives me a great option coming off the bench and in a prominent situation. A lot of times for us, the end-game options are just as important as where you are starting the game.”
Even Brandon Moss, who has a team-leading 27 homers, has not found himself in the lineup often against left-handed pitchers. He’s understanding of the situation.
“It’s been like that all year,” the left-handed hitting Moss said. “There’s no reason to change that.
Obviously, it’s a working formula. I’m totally fine with that. It would be a tougher situation not having done it all year.”