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.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.