DETROIT -- A's lefty Brett Anderson is expected to be activated within the next three days in Detroit, but he won't be returning to the same role that's defined his career to this point when that happens.
Manager Bob Melvin said Monday that Anderson is likely to be used out of the bullpen when lifted off the disabled list, going so far as to say he's not even an option for Thursday's start should Bartolo Colon not be able to go, which was before considered a possibility.
"I think we're going to have a tough time starting Brett at this point, based on him being out four months, making just two rehab starts, throwing only 3 1/3 his last time out," Melvin said. "Whether we're able to get him in a role where we can stretch him out some, we can potentially do that, but we also feel he has the potential to be a nice option out of the bullpen for us, in whatever role that might be."
Anderson has started 73 games in his career, pitching in relief just once. But there's thought that he isn't quite ready to start again -- he allowed seven earned runs in a combined 5 2/3 rehab innings -- and that he might prove more effective out of the bullpen after missing four months because of a stress fracture in his right foot.
"He is a starter by trade, so I would like to stretch him out and have that option to start him," Melvin said. "But the fact is he comes in a game and can do well for an inning, an inning-plus, you start to look at that and say, 'Wow, he could be a factor there as well.'
"It's kind of undecided where we go with him and whether I get the opportunity to stretch him out, but if I do, I would like to stretch him out some."
Anderson is up for anything, simply wanting to get back to the mound on a consistent basis. He last threw in a bullpen session on Saturday, making some mechanical adjustments that make him feel big league-ready again.
"We'll see what the need is, whether it's starting or relieving," Anderson said. "I feel good, my body feels good, and whatever role they need me in, I can feel comfortable going out there doing that."
Reddick placed on 15-day DL with sprained wrist
DETROIT -- While his teammates prepared to begin a crucial four-game series in Detroit on Monday, A's outfielder Josh Reddick made his way back to the Bay Area to rest a sprained right wrist.
For the second time this season, the injury landed Reddick on the 15-day disabled list, leading the A's to call up Daric Barton from Triple-A Sacramento to take his roster spot. Barton will platoon at first base with Nate Freiman, while Brandon Moss moves to right field and shares time at the position with Chris Young in place of Reddick.
"Any time you lose your starting right fielder, it's a loss," said manager Bob Melvin. "Even though he hasn't been swinging the bat like he's capable this season, he helps out defensively, on the bases. There are a lot of things he does that helps a team win other than swing the bat. It hurts some, but the versatility that we have helps."
Reddick initially reinjured the same wrist that forced him to the DL for 24 days in May on a diving play in the outfield last week, ultimately returning to the starting lineup this past weekend only to hurt it again Sunday.
As was the case last time, the A's are hoping their Gold Glove outfielder can avoid surgery.
"Nothing has been said about surgery at this point, so it's more about trying to first get him healthy and then rehabbing it," Melvin said. "So hopefully surgery is not an option."
Reddick is batting just .213 on the season, a dismal clip that actually reflects improvement upon the numbers he had when sidelined in May. He was hitting .152 then and was able to boost that mark to as high as .222 upon his return, backing up his theory that the wrist ailment had contributed to his hitting woes.
Not wanting to play through it again and watch his performance suffer even more, Reddick said after Sunday's game, "I'm not going to be stupid about it again."
Reddick's disappointing season comes on the heels of a breakthrough 2012, as he finished the campaign with 32 homers and 85 RBIs. Through 97 games this year, he has 10 home runs and 46 RBIs.
A's expect Colon to be ready to start on Thursday
DETROIT -- Though their Thursday starter in Detroit has yet to officially be announced, the A's are feeling confident they can soon declare it to be Bartolo Colon.
That's the same day Colon is eligible to return from the disabled list, where the 40-year-old landed with a left groin strain that was of no issue during his 38-pitch bullpen session on Monday.
"Looked good, didn't feel his groin," said manager Bob Melvin. "Tomorrow will be a little bit more tell-tale, after going after it hard off the mound for the first time. I would say today is encouraging, and hopefully he's able to take a start on Thursday."
Should Colon need more time to rest beyond Thursday, the A's are likely to pitch Jarrod Parker, though they were hoping to give him an extra day. Melvin also didn't rule out using righty reliever Jesse Chavez.
"I think there are any number of options, depending on how we get there," he said. "Jesse's versatility, and the amount of pitches he's been able to give us, that's certainly an option, too. We'd like to see Bart make that Thursday start, though."
At the time he was placed on the DL, Colon had given up a combined 10 earned runs in his past two starts, spanning just 6 2/3 innings, after surrendering nine earned runs in his previous 49 1/3 innings over seven outings. His velocity was lacking and his pitches weren't nearly as crisp -- factors that didn't come into play Monday.
"As far as I could tell, it was really good the second half," Melvin said. "He was kind of easing his way in, but then really got after it and knew he had to test the groin. I think it kind of is surprising him a little bit that he didn't feel anything. His last 10 or 15 pitches, they had good movement, the ball was coming out of his hand nicely. That was good to see."
A's designate righty Neshek for assignment
DETROIT -- Among a flurry of moves for the A's on Monday was the loss of righty Pat Neshek, who was designated for assignment one day after making a 44-pitch relief appearance in Baltimore.
The transaction was necessary to make room on the 40-man roster for Daric Barton, who was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to help out at first base, with Brandon Moss now needed in right field after Josh Reddick (right wrist) was placed on the disabled list. The A's also recalled right-hander Evan Scribner from Sacramento.
"We do potentially need some length here, and with him going 44 pitches, he wasn't going to be a factor for at least a couple of days, so we needed to get Evan Scribner up here," manager Bob Melvin said.
The A's have 10 days to trade, release or pass Neshek through waivers and outright him to Triple-A. He was 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA and .265 opponents' average in 41 relief appearances, logging a 2.10 ERA over the first 29 before struggling to the tune of a 6.75 ERA in his final 12 games.
"Obviously that's a tough one," Melvin said. "He's meant a lot to this team. Not only what he's done on the field, but inspirationally. We just feel like he's part of this team even though he's not here right now."
Neshek enjoyed one of the best and perhaps most emotional outings of his career last year during the American League Division Series, giving the A's two crucial outs in Detroit just days after the death of his infant son, Gehrig John.
Scribner, meanwhile, joins the A's for a fourth time this year. He last appeared for the A's on Aug. 4, when he allowed one hit in one scoreless inning against the Rangers. In 29 appearances with Sacramento, he has a 2.32 ERA and .199 opponents' average.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.