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A's could get Freiman back for final series

ANAHEIM -- First baseman Nate Freiman has made steady progress in his rehab from an abdominal strain in recent days, giving the A's confidence he could be available off the bench for this weekend's three-game set in Seattle.

He could even get a start come Sunday, with lefty James Paxton scheduled to pitch for the Mariners.

"He did well yesterday and didn't really feel it at all," manager Bob Melvin said. "So he'll take batting practice in the cage today."

Freiman began Wednesday morning in Anaheim taking 60 swings off a tee, saying afterward, "Everything feels great. That's very encouraging for me."

Unfortunately, as the rookie Freiman noted, the A's have an off-day in Seattle on Thursday, but he joked he may try to sneak into Safeco Field or scope out a local batting cage to get in some work in advance of the club's final regular-season series.

Even if healthy, Freiman isn't guaranteed a spot on Oakland's postseason roster, particularly because of Daric Barton's continued production at first base. Moreover, should the A's face Detroit in the American League Division Series, as it sets up now, they'll be facing four right-handed starters, lessening the need for an extra right-handed bat like Freiman's.

He hasn't played since Sept. 16, going just 2-for-12 in his previous six games, grounding into four double plays in that time. But he's still batting .306 on the season vs. lefties, with 48 of his 50 starts coming against them.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
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