Tigers know how to test Anderson's health

October 9, 2012, 11:51 pm
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OAKLAND -- Just 20 days after straining his right oblique the Oakland Athletics insist that Brett Anderson is completely healthy. Why would they send him out to the mound if he wasn't? The Detroit Tigers might be a bit more skeptical and they will have a clever way to see just how healthy Anderson is. On Sept. 19, the day Anderson injured his right oblique, Detroit started the third inning by laying back-to-back bunt singles down the first-base line. Anderson, who falls off the mound to the third base side, had trouble getting back into position to field the bunts and ended up leaving the game four batters later. The A's insist that if the Tigers try that approach again they will be ready. "We're prepared for that," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Whether it's him or someone else we're prepared." The A's are facing elimination with Anderson on the mound and when he's healthy they have to like their odds. There are some interesting variables in play with the 24-year-old lefty on the mound. It will be his first game action since suffering a Grade 2 oblique strain. It is also Anderson's first ever postseason experience. He may have looked healthy in his bullpen sessions, but it is impossible to simulate the adrenaline rush he will get when taking the mound in front of a sellout crowd. One minor tweak of the oblique and the A's season could be in jeopardy. "He was cleared on all fronts," Melvin said. "We wouldn't throw him out there if we weren't comfortable with his health. That means fielding his position, doing whatever he has to do." "My bullpens have been strong," Anderson said on Monday. "I took some time off with my oblique, so my arm feels good." Usually it's Anderson's left arm that has people worried. He missed 14 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. The fact that he was forced to miss time with the oblique injury just six starts after his return to the mound might have been a blessing in disguise, because it forced him to rest his surgically repaired left elbow. Anderson is 6-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts since returning. He went 4-0 in his first four starts with the A's after Tommy John. The A's have been able to successfully gauge his readiness based on bullpen sessions this season. "We've looked at this thing pretty hard and we feel like we are in a good position with him and he feels good," Melvin said. "The training staff feels good about it. It's like a normal start." Except it's in the playoffs. "I'm sure there will be adrenaline rushing, and it will be fun to pitch here," Anderson said. "A postseason game in Oakland, there hasn't been one in a while so I am excited."

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