Every year, A’s fans get tired of Daric Barton‘s offensive liability. This year he is really struggling, even for him. Barton’s inability at the plate is leading to one main question: when is Nate Freiman coming?
Daric Barton is hitting a paltry .143 this season and has 4 RBI in 54 ABs. By comparison, Derek Norris is hitting .371 with 2 HR and 12 RBI in his 62 ABs. A platoon doesn’t work if half that platoon isn’t playing well. Barton has been kept this long (besides no other team claiming him off waivers) because of his defense right? His dWAR this season is 0.2, but is WAR is -0.2, so you can basically plug in any player and get that kind of production.
Nate Freiman. Did you know he’s 6’8″? He should have some height-related nickname.
Last season Nate Freiman was used primarily against LHP, which he batted .304 against. Against RHP he hit .167. That .167 isn’t good, but it’s still better than Barton, and that’s from his weak matchup. If Nate Freiman is to platoon as expected, we will be seeing much more of the .304 average.
This season in Sacramento, Nate Freiman is batting .243 against both lefties and righties. He has double the ABs against RHP (74 to 37) which is giving him exposure to his weakness. This exposure can only help him when he inevitably gets called up.
That leaves us with the burning question of “when”? Typically teams play the first 2 months to see what they have, but by the time June comes around if a player isn’t cutting it, the front office makes a move. Keep an eye on the calendar for June 1st. That could be the day that Nate Freiman gets called up, and when Drew Pomeranz is instated into the Athletic’s rotation. With these two moves, and the addition of Eric O’Flaherty to solidify the bullpen shortly thereafter, the A’s could take off towards a third division title and never look back.