Anderson faces hitters for first time since April

Anderson faces hitters for first time since April

Anderson faces hitters for first time since April

OAKLAND -- Lefty Brett Anderson took to the mound to face hitters for the first time since April on Friday, checking off yet another significant step in his ongoing foot rehab.

Anderson simulated two innings, throwing 15 pitches each time, and another 25 warm-up pitches brought his total count to roughly 55 on the day. The next step, though not to be decided until Saturday, is most likely a rehab assignment.

"He looked good," said Nate Freiman, one of three batters to face Anderson. "His fastball had a lot of life on it, was running away from me. His breaking ball, both the slider and curveball, were sharp. His changeup had some downward action. He was attacking the zone. It's exciting to see what we could have returning to us soon."

"I can definitely see where it's not a comfortable at-bat for a lefty, that's for sure," Stephen Vogt added. "His velocity looked real good, and the ball's coming out of his hand well; his breaking ball's sharp."

Manager Bob Melvin said just as much, acknowledging the only concern at the moment was not Anderson's pitches but how his foot was progressing. It appears to be a non-issue, and the A's want to keep it that way.

"I'm glad we're not worried about his arm too much right now," Melvin said. "It's more about his foot. It certainly looks like, stuff-wise, he's close to midseason form. It's about taking the proper steps to make sure we don't get the foot back into a position where we could make it worse again, and to this point it hasn't.

"It's not surprising that he looked like he had been pitching for a while. I know he's excited about getting back sooner than later, and it would suggest that he's kept his arm in very good shape."

In what capacity Anderson returns is undecided. The A's would surely like to have him back in their rotation but also realize that placing him in the bullpen could expedite his return date.

"We'd get him back quicker if he was to be in the bullpen, but that's yet to be determined," Melvin said. "I'm glad we have the option to potentially do both with him, because usually guys that have been starters want to continue in that role. He just wants to get back and help the team in any way he can."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.