Brett Anderson had a rehab start with High-A Stockton Thursday night. I made the trip to Banner Island Ballpark home of the Stockton Ports to watch Anderson pitch and see how he was coming along. Anderson has been rehabbing a fractured ankle that has kept him out since April 29. That last day proved to be critical for the A’s as he pitched in relief with an already fractured ankle in a 19 inning win against the Angels.
Anderson had a pitch limit of 65 going into the game. He reached that with one out in the fourth and was promptly taken out. He had given up a few base hits and 5 runs including two home runs, but that went along with six strikeouts. His velocity was not at its’ peak but that could be because he was not throwing all the way to be on the safe side. His off speed pitches certainly looked big league ready accounting for the majority of his strikeouts.
Overall Anderson looked great. He was throwing the ball well, looked comfortable, and most importantly looked healthy. His slider had bite, his fastball had pop, and his delivery was easy. Don’t pay too much attention to the stat line. That is certainly not indicative of how well Anderson pitched Thursday night.
Speculation has been occurring that Anderson will rejoin the team after pitching tonight however nothing has been confirmed by the Athletics. It will be interesting to see what happens when he does return. Anderson will need to re-establish not only his 25 man roster spot, but his 40 man roster spot as well. With the acquisition of Kurt Suzuki the 40 man roster spot freed up by the outright of Hiroyuki Nakajima is now gone.
Some possible roster moves: DFA one of the many relievers on the 40 man roster at Triple-A Sacramento, DFA one of the infielders at Triple-A Sacramento, or shut down Jaso for September and transfer him to the 60-Day DL. Sending down either Jesse Chavez or Dan Otero to Triple-A Sacramento can easily solve the 25 man roster spot. With those two pitching well however a tough decision that might need to be made would be to send down Jerry Blevins. Or their other option would be to DL Norris.
Expect Anderson to be back in Oakland relatively soon. I’d say within the next seven days. With the way he looked tonight I do not see why he would need another rehab start. The only foreseeable obstacle would be his pitch count considering he has not thrown more than 65 pitches in either of his rehab starts. The team does need pitching though so he should be in the very near future.