HOUSTON -- When the Oakland Athletics optioned first baseman Nate Freiman to Class A Beloit on Wednesday, it was with the understanding that Freiman will return soon, perhaps as early as Sept. 1 when major league rosters expand to 40 players.
The Athletics needed to make room for left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who allowed one unearned run on three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in a 5-4 win over the Astros on Wednesday.
Freiman was a logical choice to be sent down, with Oakland carrying just 11 pitchers and ample infield depth. Stephen Vogt, Alberto Callaspo and Brandon Moss are all capable options at first base.
Additionally, with Beloit out of the postseason picture, Freiman will have the opportunity to get at-bats while he awaits his recall. That he was made fully aware of this scenario explains in part his enthusiasm accepting the temporary demotion.
"For a guy that's done what he's done for us, accepts these assignments and is all about the team, you try to give him as much information as you can because he has been a part of this team for two years now," manager Bob Melvin said.
Freiman is batting .241 with four home runs and 12 RBIs over 22 games and two stints with the Athletics this season. In eight games since his second recall from Triple-A Sacramento on Aug. 3, he is batting .286 with three home runs and six RBIs.