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Mike Freeman optioned to Reno

In what appears to be a move to clear roster space for the return of David Peralta, Mike Freeman has been returned to Reno.

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Freeman, 28, appeared in 8 games with the D-backs this season. He was recalled from Reno on July 17 and made his Major League debut that night vs. Dodgers. However, he is still seeking his first major-league hit, having gone 0-for-9 with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. All of the appearances save his debut were as a pinch-hitter off the bench, which can't have made things any easier for him.

This does leave open the possibility that he will end up being one of those unfortunate batters who get to appear in the major-leagues, but never get a hit. Freeman's eight hitless games currently ranks him tied for 41st in major-league history among position players. The leader there has a remarkable 103 regular season games without a hit, but as you can imagine, there's a story there. For that record belongs to Herb Washington, who was a "designated runner" for parts of 1974 and 1975 with the Oakland A's. A sprinter who had held the 50- and 60-yard dash world records, he stole 31 bases and scored 33 runs - but never actually got to stand at the plate.

In terms of plate appearances, the champion is Larry Littleton of the 1981 Astros. He appeared in 26 games, mostly off the bench, and went 0-for-23 in 27 plate appearances. He wasn't actually a bad hitter in the minors, batting .267 in over 3,300 plate-appearances down there. But he doesn't seem to be bitter, saying "If I look back at anything on baseball, there's nothing negative." He shares the futility mark of 23 hitless at-bats with Mike Potter of the 1976-77 Cardinals, but Potter might get the nod, as he drew only one walk, compared to Littleton's three. Freeman is less than half way to matching either man.

Will he get another opportunity to break his goose-egg? That would presumably require a further injury to a position player. Making things tougher for Freeman, we probably have more players coming back than are likely to be leaving. The Diamondbacks have Chris Herrmann, Nick Ahmed, hopefully even A.J. Pollock, all due to follow Peralta back off the disabled list over the coming weeks. They will likely be higher up the pecking order than Freeman, as may also be Socrates Brito - and each one's return will make it harder for Freeman to rise up. A September call-up might be his best chance - and In a lost season, I can't say I would mind terribly much if he was given a few more shots.