Just hours from making his Major League Baseball debut, A's outfielder Ramon Laureano didn't quite know how to feel.
"When I get out there in the field, (and have my) first at-bat, I don't know what to expect," he said. "I don't want to think about it too much. Whatever happens, happens. I'm just trying to stay as mellow as I can."
Laureano, 24, was officially called up from Triple-A Nashville on Friday. He will start in center field and bat ninth against the Tigers.
"I was shocked and speechless," Laureano said of hearing the news. "It was a great moment."
"He's playing great right now," added Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "I think the timing is good to get him here. We have four out of the next five games against left-handed starters, and he will get a chance to perform."
Laureano has been on an absolute tear his last 10 games in Nashville, batting .488 (20-for-41) with five home runs, eight RBI, and 12 runs scored. He is also an excellent defensive outfielder, leading all of Triple-A with 13 outfield assists.
"Very athletic player," Melvin praised. "He moves around really well and has a plus arm."
The A's acquired Laureano from the Astros for RHP Brandon Bailey in November. He performed well in spring training, batting .304 (7-for-23), but broke his left pinky when he was hit by a pitch. Laureano has recovered to bat .297 this season in Nashville, with 14 home runs and 35 RBI.
"I knew at some point in time, if he overcame the injury, that he would be here, and now is that time," Melvin said. "He made a great impression early in spring. Unfortunately he got hit by a pitch and was out for awhile, but he rehabbed his way back."
"I'm really just trying to be patient and play my game, and not worry about what I can't control," Laureano said of his big league debut. "Whatever happens, happens. I'm just going to play hard, and that's it."
Laureano will have his parents in the crowd, along with his girlfriend and a couple of friends from New York.