Since a breakout 2010 season, things haven’t gone too well for Oakland Athletics starter Brett Anderson. He struggled with his consistency in 2011 before having some health issues that limited him in 2012. He’s had more health issues this season, as he heads into his rehab.
The A’s are hoping to get him back for the home stretch, but have made it pretty clear that they have the intention of putting him in the bullpen. The main motivation behind having him in a relief role is to get him back into action earlier. Of course, that was before Bartolo Colon went down with a groin injury.
With Colon on the disabled list, the A’s called up Tommy Milone to make a spot start in his absence. Beyond Milone’s Sunday start, we’re not too sure what the plan is as far as replacing Colon goes. Anderson’s most recent rehab start featured him as a starter, rather than a reliever.
That gives a pretty strong indication that the Athletics are planning to have him come back as a starter, once he returns from his foot injury, rather than coming out of the bullpen. That’s probably the right move for the A’s. You get one of your top arms back where he belongs, rather than limiting his action out of the ‘pen.
If he comes in and is successful, then you have to find a spot for Colon, and having too many starters is often a good problem to have. Not only that, but if Anderson is successful, it limits the need for Colon to rush back. Having Anderson back in the rotation certainly seems like the right move for Oakland at this point, once his rehab is complete.