Positive signs for Anderson, Braden, and McCarthy

July 18, 2012, 1:29 am
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OAKLAND -- The Oakland A's lead the American League with a 3.46 ERA. Think they are stacked with pitching now? Just wait. There were three rather significant developments on the pitching front at the Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday. - Brett Anderson has returned from pitching simulated games in Arizona. He threw a three inning, 45-pitch simulated game on Monday. He will throw a bullpen on Wednesday, and then a rehab assignment is next. At this point Anderson is blasting through every stage of his recovery from "Tommy John" surgery. - Dallas Braden threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. He has been throwing bullpens for a while now, but this one is important because it was the first time he mixed in all of his pitches. He will have a day or two off, then throw another bullpen session. He is a bit further behind than Anderson, but is starting to see progress."He threw his breaking ball today, a little cutter, changeup, and the whole bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He was bouncing off the mound like you would expect him to."- Brandon McCarthy played catch on flat ground. He worked his way out to 80 feet then came back in to 40 feet. He is expected to throw a bullpen on Wednesday, and if that goes well he could be getting closer to returning.
As for position players:
- Coco Crisp saw a doctor and was told he has no structural damage in his sore left shoulder. He took batting practice and participated in baseball activities. Melvin said that Crisp is not a DL candidate. He should be back in the lineup soon. - Yoenis Cespedes could return to the outfield any day now as well. He needs to be comfortable when squeezing his glove as he recovers from a left thumb sprain he sustained on July 8.