The A’s received some good news on the injury front Thursday. Brett Anderson is expected to pitch in a minor league game on Saturday, A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters in Arizona.
Anderson strained a trapezius muscle in a collision with Adam Eaton last Sunday.
That puts the lefty, who is slated to lead Oakland's rotation, on track to make his Opening Day start. The A's need him to stay healthy, because when he's not on the disabled list he is one of the top pitchers in the game.
Melvin also said Jemile Weeks and Michael Taylor are ready to get back into Cactus League games. Weeks has appeared in minor league games, but hasn't played for the big league team since March 1, when he was upended by Giants catcher Jackson Williams on a play at second base.
Weeks is locked in a battle for the starting second base job. He got off to a hot start, but still has to prove himself if he wants to win the job.
In a freak occurrence in the dugout, Taylor lacerated his pinky on a light fixture while attempting to throw away some gum. He is 2-for-15 with one RBI this spring, and said he is building his swing. Taylor said it takes him about 40 at-bats in real game speed and some tinkering before he feels his swing is ready. He lost about a week's worth of time.
There was some bad news on Thursday. Reliever Fernando Rodriguez has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The remedy for that is Tommy John surgery, but he will reportedly seek a second opinion. The 28-year-old right-hander suffered the injury on Monday against the Padres.
He walked the first batter he faced in the sixth inning against San Diego. Rodriguez then threw a pitch and winced, attempted another pitch, shook his head and began favoring his elbow. He left the game assisted by trainer Walt Horn and later underwent an MRI, which revealed a ligament tear.
Rodriguez was expected to provide the A's bullpen with a powerful arm. He wasn't likely to make the team out of spring training, but he could have been one of the top options to fill in if someone went down.