Brett Anderson pulled from start with right oblique strain

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Unfortunate bit of news here for the Athletics.

According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, left-hander Brett Anderson was lifted in the third inning of his start Wednesday night against the Tigers after straining his right oblique while delivering a pitch.

Oblique injuries often take more than two weeks to recover from and they’re typically prone to setbacks, which means Anderson probably won’t throw another pitch during the 2012 regular season. But he could be ready if the A’s are able to advance to the ALDS.

The 24-year-old has posted a 2.57 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in six starts since returning in mid-August from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, fanning 25 batters and walking only seven in 35 innings.

Oakland entered play Wednesday with a slight lead for the first Wild Card spot in the American League.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.