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A Royal Spanking, 17-7

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You can say spring training stats mean nothing, or that they mean something. What you can't deny is that they exist, so here are two of the most positive ones...

Mark Ellis went 2/4 to bump his Cactus League batting average to .385, and Eric Chavez went 3/3 to finish the day at .423 with 5 HRs.

Other than that, not a lot of good to report. Ellis made a key error and Charles Thomas misjudged two fly balls, while Joe Blanton wobbled (2.2 innings, 8 runs, 71 pitches) and Santiago Casilla underwhelmed (1 IP, 2 runs).

Freddie Bynum got a hit in his only AB and continued to make a case for the A's to find a spot for him on the major league roster. Bynum, now hitting .412 (5/12) this spring, is a former #2 draft pick; he is also out of options. However, to keep him the A's would probably have to remove Marco Scutaro from the major league picture.

Meanwhile, Joe Blanton and Danny Haren continue to struggle and the A's strength--their starting rotation--has yet to shine much overall. Then again, Rich Harden and Esteban Loaiza have yet to make an impact. I doubt Ken Macha and Curt Young are very concerned about the team ERA, and I doubt Ron Washington is much concerned about the team's fielding percentage. But I also doubt any of them are especially thrilled with the rather sloppy play they've seen as often as not so far this spring; Ken Macha has said as much without saying it in so many words.

Conclusion: It's only Spring Training...to a point.