Bynum Making Decision Difficult

Utilityman Freddie Bynum is out of major league options and the A's don't have any openings currently on their 25-man roster. So, naturally, his career as a member of the Oakland A's organization is coming to an end, right? Well, maybe not. Bynum's outstanding spring is making the A's decision on whether or not to keep him a difficult one.

Freddie Bynum's chances of making the A's Opening Day roster are slim, but this spring he's playing himself into a job somewhere.

Bynum, who is out of options and not likely to clear waivers, had an RBI double, an RBI triple and scored two runs. Bynum is 10-for-22 with four doubles and two triples in his last 11 games.

"He's taking his game to another level," A's manager Ken Macha said. "He's making a spot for himself somewhere. Whatever chance he has, he's making the most of it."

The A's already have two backup infielders in Marco Scutaro and Antonio Perez. They already have two backup outfielders in Jay Payton and Bobby Kielty.

That leaves no room for Bynum, who can play third, short, second or any of the outfield positions. He also has blazing speed.

"The nice thing about him is if there's a tie game in the eighth inning, I can pinch-run him and only use one guy," Macha said.

It's looking as if Frank Thomas will be ready by Opening Day. But if he's not, or if Kielty's strained oblique doesn't heal by then, that provides a small chance for Bynum.

Macha would prefer keeping a second lefty in the bullpen, but the organization might want to keep Bynum, too. A trade is always a possibility. Bynum has been scouted heavily this spring.

Wednesday's Notebook

--LF Nick Swisher was nearly attacked by a swarm of bees in the second inning of the A's game against the Diamondbacks. The game was delayed about five minutes. Swisher looked for safety in the A's infield, and Arizona's relievers moved toward the dugout before the bees left.

--RHP Esteban Loaiza made his A's debut Wednesday, allowing four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Loaiza hadn't pitched in a game in 10 days, and his first three starts this spring were for Team Mexico. His scheduled side session Sunday was eliminated because he was sick.

--DH Frank Thomas cleared another hurdle by running the bases on a back field before Wednesday's game. Thomas knows he's no speed demon and probably won't be scoring from first on a double up the gap. But as long as he can score from second on a single, and go first to third on a single, he and the A's will be satisfied.

--SS Bobby Crosby had a second straight multiple-hit game, driving in a run in the first inning. Crosby was bothered by shoulder tendonitis earlier this spring, but he has shown no ill-effects the last week.

--RHP Huston Street, who is used to get more than three outs for a save, pitched two innings Wednesday. A bloop single led to the only run he's allowed this spring, including his appearances in the World Baseball Classic.

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