With the 2013 MLB regular season already two and a half weeks old, it is time to check in on your former Blue Devils.
Nate Freiman – 1B – Oakland Athletics
Freiman was one of the most pleasant of surprises entering the season. The Duke alum, a Rule-5 draft pick by the Houston Astros this past offseason, managed to secure a spot on the Oakland Athletics’ roster as a 1B/DH/PH bench role following a solid Spring Training.
Ever since his impressive performance in his MLB debut, however, Freiman has struggled to receive consistent playing time and has, as a result, struggled at the plate. The 6’8″ first baseman has just one hit in his last 14 at-bats, a 3-run homer off Astros’ veteran lefty Erik Bedard on April 15th, and has made just one start since April 9th.
Given the talent level of the Athletics’ ballclub, it comes as no surprise that he has been unable to break into the lineup more often. Brandon Moss, Oakland’s starting first baseman, can hold his own against lefties, and therefore a platoon role for Freiman isn’t necessary.
For Freiman, it’d probably be in his best interest to be sent down to Triple-A. Before this season, he had never played a game above the Double-A level, and it has to be difficult to succeed against MLB-level pitching when you aren’t receiving consistent at-bats. Yes, his skillset does give the Athletics an intriguing option off the bench, but keeping him in a bench role may be stunting whatever growth he has left as a prospect.
Performance Grade: C-
Chris Capuano – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
3 G, 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9.64 ERA, -0.3 WAR
The 34-year old veteran lefty hasn’t had the luckiest of seasons so far. After throwing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, Capuano suffered calf tightness while trotting out from the bullpen during the brawl between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers last week, a fight that resulted in Dodgers SP Zach Greinke breaking his collarbone.
Capuano was confident his calf had healed in the four days off he was given, and was inserted into the rotation in place of the injured Greinke. The result wasn’t pretty, however, as the lefty surrendered five runs on five hits and two walks in just two innings.
To make matters worse, Capuano suffered a strained left calf and was forced to exit the game early after sprinting from the mound to cover first base in the second inning.
To put it simply, Capuano is not having a good year.
Performance Grade: D