Worth noting

• Left-hander Brett Anderson, who suffered a minor neck injury in his last outing, is on track to make his scheduled start Saturday, but it will likely come in a Minor League game, rather than against the Angels at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

"He won't pitch against the division," Melvin said, "and we can get his pitch count where we want to get it."

Anderson, already pegged as the A's Opening Day starter, threw just seven pitches in his last start, his third of the spring. He'll throw close to 60 on Saturday.

• Closer Grant Balfour, on the mend from minor knee surgery, will throw to hitters for a second time on Thursday, as the A's attempt to keep him on the same schedule every other pitcher employed early in camp. The team will then decide if the right-hander is ready to pitch in games.

• Outfielder Michael Taylor, sidelined for over a week following a freak injury to his right pinky finger, was back on the field Thursday as a late-inning replacement. He went 1-for-2.

The 6-foot-5 Taylor hit his hand on a light on the ceiling of the dugout as he attempted to toss his gum into the trash, resulting in a deep cut on his pinky.

• Non-roster reliever Mike Ekstrom has quietly been a nice surprise for the A's this spring. The right-hander pitched two perfect innings in Thursday's game, and overall, has compiled a 2.08 ERA with seven strikeouts and just four hits allowed in 8 2/3 innings.

Ekstrom is likely to start the year at Triple-A Sacramento, but could be a nice weapon for the A's down the line.

"He's got a good, tight slider, throws the ball over the plate, keeps the ball down," Melvin said. "There's something to be said for that. He's had a nice spring."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.