How long have the Oakland Athletics been “waiting” for pitcher Brett Anderson? It seems like forever, in more ways than one, but the team has announced Anderson’s activation on Thursday, and with his promotion, they have elected to relegate pitcher Tommy Milone to their Sacramento minor league affiliate.
Anderson, who was the team’s opening day starter, hasn’t appeared in a big-league game since April 29th, but he was originally supposed to return much sooner despite a foot injury. However, setback after setback has taken place, and now, the long-injured left-hander is rumored to be coming out of the bullpen in Oakland.
For his career, Anderson has a 3.74 ERA (3.55 xFIP) in 435 innings, but those innings have come over the body of 5 seasons, and his only “full” campaign came as a rookie in 2009 when he threw 175.1 innings. The pedigree is certainly there for Anderson, who has big-time strikeout upside as a talented lefty, but the health has been nothing short of disastrous.
As for Milone, it’s been a struggle this season. The 26-year-old lefty has regressed across the board, posting a 4.28 ERA and rising walk and home-run rates. He’s always been more effective in the friendly confines of his home ballpark, but Milone is never going to be anything more than a mid-rotation guy with his lack of electric stuff.
Oakland is in the midst of a pennant race, as they currently hold the #2 Wild Card spot while trailing the Rangers by 2.5 games in the AL West, and they need their pitching sorted out in a major way. Anderson could help them in a high-leverage relief role if he’s right, but we won’t know until we see him pitch effectively.