Brett Anderson is starting to make real progress.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the Oakland left-hander threw off a mound on Saturday afternoon for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last July. He threw a total of 20 pitches — all fastballs — without feeling any sort of abnormal pain or discomfort in his arm.
“Quick, efficient, command was there,” A’s manager Bob Melvin told Lee in a short review of the workout.
Anderson is aiming to join the Athletics’ starting rotation at some point in August. The 24-year-old owns a solid 3.66 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 371 career major-league innings. He was limited to 13 starts in 2011.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.