By Scott Barancik, Editor

After a 10-year journey that took him through five franchises and an independent-league team, Oakland Athletics prospect Jeremy Bleich finally got the call-up and made his MLB debut on Friday.

It wasn’t an ideal situation. The A’s introduced Bleich in the 7th inning with the bases full of San Francisco Giants, the club’s cross-town rival, and no outs. The first batter he faced, Steven Duggar, doubled on an 0-2 count to drive in 2 runs. Bleich then plunked Brandon Belt with his first pitch, a 91.5-MPH fastball, and was replaced. (Click here for a condensed video of the game.)

Jeremy Bleich makes his MLB debut in the 7th inning of Oakland's 7/13/2018 game against the San Francisco Giants

Jeremy Bleich makes his MLB debut in the 7th inning of Oakland’s 7/13/2018 game against the San Francisco Giants

But in a post-game interview, A’s manager Bob Melvin was enthusiastic.

“It’s a great story,” Melvin said. “We saw [Bleich] enough in Spring to know that we liked him. He’s pitched well. We have confidence in our people in development that said he’s ready to pitch here. We’ve used Buchter quite a bit, so it’s nice to have another lefty.”

Bleich’s journey includes a lengthy shoulder rehab — he was out of professional baseball for more than two years because of it — and a short stint in independent ball.

He nearly quit the sport just last year after he was released by the D-backs following his return from the World Baseball Classic with Team Israel.

“I thought I was done,” he said.

Bleich considered picking up employment in New York — “Commercial real estate, medical device sales,” he said, smiling — but found himself playing for the independent Somerset Patriots before latching on to the Dodgers organization. He compiled a 3.22 ERA in 31 appearances for Triple-A Oklahoma City to cap his [2017] season, later agreeing to a Minor League deal with the A’s.

“I think I wouldn’t trade my path for anything else,” Bleich said. “It’s definitely shaped who I am.”

We wish Jeremy a hearty Mazel Tov and the best of luck on his next outing with the A’s.

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