Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

March 30, 2013
A's finalize roster, place Nakajima on DL

OAKLAND -- The A's announced their opening day roster this afternoon shortly after beating the Giants, 4-3, in each team's final exhibition game. Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list, Eric Sogard made the club as a utility infielder (not surprising, given his .444 spring average), and Evan Scribner claimed the final spot in the bullpen over several other candidates.

First baseman Nate Freiman, whom the A's claimed off waivers from the Astros on March 23, also made the roster and will begin as a right-handed complement to Brandon Moss. Jed Lowrie will likely start out as the A's shortstop, with Sogard and Scott Sizemore sharing time at second base.

Nakajima said he is disappointed to be starting the season on the DL but understands the A's want to make sure he recovers fully from a left hamstring strain. Manager Bob Melvin said when Nakajima is healthy he'll likely head to Triple-A Sacramento for a rehab assignment, which Nakajima said he would welcome.

"This past two months or so in spring training, I've been getting the hang of the flow, the rhythm, a lot more clearly," said Nakajima, who had just snapped an 0-for-22 skid when he injured his hamstring last Tuesday. With the added experience, he said he's glad to "have that visualization and make another attempt at it."

The Nakajima move opened a spot for Freiman, whom the A's would have had to offer up on waivers had he not made the 25-man roster. The Astros had claimed Freiman after San Diego offered him up in the Rule 5 draft. The 6-foot-8 Freiman, who has not played above Double-A, said he "may have been shaking" when Melvin told him before batting practice.

"Probably still shaking a little bit," Freiman said after the game.

Melvin said Freiman "will get some starts, particularly against tough left-handers."

Scribner beat out lefty Pedro Figueroa and non-roster invitees Mike Ekstrom and Hideki Okajima for the final bullpen spot. The A's optioned Figueroa and infielder Andy Parrino to Triple-A, and reassigned Ekstrom and Okajima to minor-league camp along with catcher Luke Montz.

Melvin said the bullpen decision was especially difficult because several candidates -- including Jordan Norberto and Travis Blackley, who were optioned and designated for assignment, respectively, on Friday -- contributed to last year's division title.

"But they also understand that we make some moves around here," Melvin said of the trimmed relievers. "If someone's pitching well and doing well and someone's not, we'll flip it out in a hurry. So they know they have to stay on top of it."

Melvin said Parrino, a switch-hitter who proved capable of playing the infield and outfield, was another tough cut for a team that values versatility.

"I'd be surprised if we didn't see him at some point," Melvin said.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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