Editor's Note: The video above is from Anderson's bullpen session on July 27.
The A’s reinstated left-hander Brett Anderson from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday and optioned left-hander Tommy Milone to the minor leagues to clear a roster spot for him.
The plan for now is to have Anderson pitch out of the bullpen, A’s manager Bob Melvin said, with the hope of stretching him out in case he is needed as a starter.
Anderson, Oakland’s opening night starter, has been sidelined since May 1 when he went on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Two weeks later, he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot, and it’s been a gradual rehabilitation since then.
Milone’s demotion was a mild surprise only because he turned in an encouraging start Tuesday in a rain-shortened 6-3 A’s victory over the Detroit Tigers. After allowing three runs in the first, Milone righted himself and blanked the Tigers over the next four innings and earned the win. He is 10-9 with a 4.28 ERA in 24 starts with Oakland.
The A’s are sending Milone to Single-A Stockton. By doing that, they can bring him back to the majors when Stockton’s season ends Sept. 2. Typically, a player would have to stay in the minors 10 days once he’s optioned.
With the recent injury to All-Star Bartolo Colon, and the inconsistency shown by Milone, Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin in recent weeks, there was thought that Anderson might return as a starter. However, the lefty was 0-2 with a 12.54 ERA over three minor league rehab starts, walking nine in 9 1/3 innings.
With Colon set to come off the D.L. on Thursday to pitch against Detroit, the A’s needed to clear a logjam in the rotation anyway. For now, Milone is the odd man out.