OAKLAND -- Brett Anderson threw 28 pitches in a simulated game prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Astros and will pitch two innings of relief for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday as he continues to rehab from a foot injury that's kept him sidelined for most of the season.
The decision to insert Anderson into the middle of the game, along with comments by A's manager Bob Melvin, suggest that Anderson's role with the big league club upon his return will be as a reliever.
"It depends on what our needs are," Melvin said. "We're keeping our options open, but we can get him back quicker in the bullpen, and that may be how we handle it to begin with."
Along with the 28 tosses against Nate Freiman and Seth Smith Tuesday, Anderson participated in pitchers' fielding practice, and Melvin said his foot felt fine.
"The intensity level is there," Melvin said. "He wants to get back as soon as he can."
Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.