Oakland -- Brett Anderson threw a bullpen session before Tuesday's spring game with the Giants, and by the look of it, you'd be hard-pressed to know he had Tommy John surgery last July.
"He looks as good as he can look," manager Bob Melvin confirmed before the game.
Anderson first threw on flat ground, extending out to about 60 feet. As each toss entered the catcher's glove, the snap of ball-on-leather reverberated throughout the empty Coliseum, and could be clearly heard from the press box high above.
Then, Anderson climbed the bullpen mound and threw all his pitches uninhibited. Melvin watched intently as fastballs, curveballs, sliders and change-ups all came in around the strike zone during the session.
From the way he was throwing, Melvin said, you'd think he "wasn't an arm rehab guy."
No, you wouldn't.
Anderson, 24, was 11-11 in 30 starts as a rookie, but has suffered durability issues since, hitting the disabled list three times over the past two years. Last year's Tommy John surgery came just months before he signed a 12.5 million, four-year contract extension with Oakland.
Anderson cited his physical shape as one possible reason he has been unable to stay healthy. In November, we reported Anderson quit drinking soda and has increased his conditioning efforts in an attempt to get fit.
On Tuesday after his bullpen session, Anderson walked past me wearing his pregame under armor. The program is working -- he looked trim and light on his feet.
In November, he and the A's were targeting a July return.