PREGAME NOTES: Freiman pumped for major-league debut, Sizemore just as excited for return

One guy is making his major league debut and another is making a start that may feel like one. Sitting across the clubhouse from one another, both Nate Freiman and Scott Sizemore were feeling a bit pensive before Wednesday night’s third game of the A’s season against Seattle.

Freiman, who thought he’d be spending the year playing Triple-A ball in the Houston organization, was in the lineup for the first time and around 3:15, he was clearly restless.

“I can’t wait to get out there,” he said. “I wish it was about 6:55 right now.”

Freiman thought his major league breakthrough might happen off the bench at some point the first two nights.

“I was ready,” he said. “The situation just never arose. But I’m excited. It’s almost surreal. You think about this day and realize most people don’t get to do this.”

Freiman’s mother and father and younger brother Eli, a medical student at UMass, flew all the way from Boston and have been in town since Opening Day waiting for Nate to hit the field. His wife Amanda, a star golfer at Duke while Freiman was making headlines on the baseball field at the same university, has also been in the stands waiting for the big moment. They were married in December.

As for Sizemore, who hasn’t been in a regular season game September of 2011 after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the team’s first 2012 spring training workout, he was no less edgy before his first regular-season start. He tried doing  crossword but gave up.

Sizemore played quite a bit this spring training but admitted the feeling wasn’t the same as gearing up for his first regular-season start at second base.

“I’m excited,” he admitted. “Obviously, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a big league field when it counted. I’m just looking forward to having some fun and helping the team win a game.”

The rehab of his knee complete, Sizemore admitted he’s still in the process of rehabbing his game.

. “The term of my injury was so long, I went through so many stages, my mind was going through different things,” he said.  But I knew when I got back, it was going to be tough. Baseball is an extremely hard game. I was looking forward to the grind. That’s what players complain about the most, just the day-to-day grind as a baseball player, but I really missed it. I missed having to focus and show what you were made of on a daily basis.”

The A’s have nowhere to go but up after going 6-fot-60 (.100) in the first two games. With Joe Saunders on the mound tonight for Seattle, we get a glimpse of the lineup against left-handed starters, but manager Bob Melvin said this isn’t necessarily the template lineup against lefties.

Chris Young also makes his season debut with Oakland tonight. Here’s the complete lineup.:

OAKLAND: DH Crisp, SS Lowrie, CF Young, LF Cespedes, 3B Donaldson, C Norris, RF Reddick, 1B Freiman, 2B Sizemore. LHP Tommy Milone

SEATTLE: CF Gutierrez, 3B Seager, DH Morales, RF Morse, 1B Smoak, C Montero, LF Bay, 2B Andino, SS Ryan. LHP Joe Saunders.

Injury front: Shortstop Hiro Nakajima (hamstring) is slowly but surely increasing his baseball activity, but not much beyond playing catch at this point. Infielder Adam Rosales (intercostal strain) may begin throwing in the next few days and after that, begin hitting off a tee.

The A’s claimed right-hander Will Harris off waivers from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento.  Right-hander Josh Stinson, claimed last week from Milwaukee, was designated for assignment.




Carl Steward