Already boasting the second-best starters’ ERA in the American League at 3.77, the Oakland A’s rotation will get a boost on Tuesday when left-hander Brett Anderson makes his first start since June 5, 2011.
The 24-year-old Anderson, who is 21-23 with a 3.66 ERA over three Major League seasons, underwent Tommy John surgery last July and experienced elbow problems that led to multiple DL stints in 2010. Before the 2009 season, Baseball America named Anderson the seventh-best prospect in the game. When healthy, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Texas native can dominate opposing lineups.
To make room for Anderson on the active roster, the A’s optioned starting pitcher Dan Straily to Triple-A Sacramento. In another move, catcher Anthony Recker was designated for assignment to clear space for Anderson on the 40-man roster.
Straily, a 23-year-old right-hander who was a target of many Major League teams at the trade deadline, posted a 3.18 ERA with 12 strikeouts and four walks over three starts and 17 innings. One of baseball’s feel good stories in 2012, the 24th round pick out of Marshall University in 2009 led the minors with 175 strikeouts in 138.1 innings between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento before his call up to Oakland. It has been a breakout season for a guy who had never pitched above Single-A until this year.
Straily is one example of the starting pitching depth that Oakland boasts. The A’s recently saw the return of right-hander Brandon McCarthy. Veteran righty Bartolo Colon, 25-year-old left-hander Tommy Milone and rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker are also part of the A’s rotation.
The A’s are getting Anderson and McCarthy back at an ideal time. They are 65-55, five games behind Texas in the American League West, a half-game in back of Baltimore for the second wild card and 1.5 games behind Tampa Bay for the top wild card.