Oakland left-hander Brett Anderson started a live, professional baseball game on Saturday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last July. It didn’t go too well, but the results are less of a concern right now than the fact that he’s healthy and making steady progress.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Anderson allowed two runs on four hits over two innings of work at High-A Stockton. He hit a batter and didn’t get a strikeout while throwing 15 of his 35 pitches for balls.
Anderson will likely make two or three more rehab starts in High-A before moving on to the Double-A or Triple-A level. If all goes smoothly, he could be back in the Athletics’ starting rotation by the end of August.
The 24-year-old southpaw owns a 3.66 career ERA and 1.27 career WHIP in 62 major league starts.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.