Anderson makes key stride toward return to A's

Anderson makes key stride toward return to A's

OAKLAND -- Fresh off his first rehab start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, A's lefty Brett Anderson said concern has finally shifted from his arm to his performance.

"It's good to get in some baseball scenarios I haven't been able to get in in the past year," he said Sunday morning. "I can start worrying about what my pitches are doing rather than how my arm's feeling."

Anderson pitched two innings for Class A Stockton on Saturday, throwing 35 pitches and allowing two runs on four hits. He also hit a batter in an outing where the results weren't exceptional, but more importantly, the way he felt after was.

"I felt good," he said. "Results were kind of so-so, which is expected. But as a baseball player and perfectionist, you want to get everyone out and have your stuff and command be awesome and where you want it to be, but that's unrealistic at this point. It's a big step just to get back on the mound and in a game."

The 24-year-old Anderson is set to throw a bullpen session on Monday, and barring any setbacks, he will likely make his next start with Stockton on Thursday in Visalia, Calif. He'll throw around 45-60 pitches, as he continues to build up innings in an effort to return to an A's rotation that is thriving.

Entering Sunday, A's starters -- of five, three are rookies -- had allowed two runs or fewer in 24 of the last 31 games, leading to 22 team victories in that span.

"The way our staff's been, I'm going to be making the Triple-A playoff push," Anderson joked. "You see what guys are doing up here, and you want to be a part of it. And once you are up here, you want to keep with the trend they've been setting all year."