Anderson's return to A's appears imminent

Anderson's return to A's appears imminent

OAKLAND -- Left-hander Brett Anderson's long, arduous journey back to the A's after Tommy John surgery is nearing the finish line.

Anderson threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Saturday, and A's manager Bob Melvin said it won't be long before he finds a place for him in the rotation.

"He's really got good stuff," Melvin said. "We'll probably have a decision here at some point soon, and we will find a way to get him in there somehow. He is that good, and so we just have to find the right timing for it."

Anderson has made five rehab starts for Triple-A Sacramento. In his most recent start, he threw 96 pitches and allowed three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Melvin said there's a chance Anderson could make one more start for Sacramento, but Anderson is counting the days until he takes the mound for the A's for the first time since June 5, 2011.

"I'm very eager," Anderson said. "No exaggeration, there were 350 people at my last start in New Orleans after the rain delay. It's tough. Obviously you want to pitch good and you want to win, but there's a little bit more at stake here and a little bit more adrenaline going when you're facing a big league team in a big league park. I'm very eager to get back and pitch for this team."

Anderson said he feel 100 percent ready to return and has hit as high as 94 mph with his fastball, although he hasn't thrown that fast consistently.

"I'm sure my [velocity's] not where it was in parts of '09 and 2010, but that's' going to come the more I build up my arm strength. But I like where my other pitches are. My slider was good in my last start. I built up my pitch count pretty high."

Anderson said he hasn't made any mechanical adjustments to take pressure off his elbow but will probably throw fewer breaking pitches than in the past. His slider, however, is still his best pitch, and he likes the way it looked in his last start with the River Cats. He said he used it to record five or six of his seven strikeouts.

"It's getting back to where I like it," Anderson said.