As soon as Oakland included Brett Anderson on the ALDS roster despite not pitching since injuring his oblique on September 19 it was clear they planned for him to start a game against Detroit and sure enough he’ll get the call for Game 3 tomorrow night.
And if the A’s are able to extend the series with a victory in the Anderson-Anibal Sanchez matchup Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that they’d turn to Game 162 starter A.J. Griffin for Game 4.
Before the oblique injury Anderson had pitched very well in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery, starting six games with a 2.57 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 35 innings. Relying on him for what is truly a must-win game is risky simply because he hasn’t faced big-league hitters in three weeks, but he reported no problems following a bullpen session Saturday.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.