7/30/2013 11:06 P.M. ET
A's looking for Blevins to step up in bullpen
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- If the first-place A's add to their roster before Wednesday's Trade Deadline, it'll likely be in the form of a new arm.
Oakland is open to trading for either a starter or reliever, depending on what becomes available to them at the right price, despite already boasting one of the game's best staffs.
Should the club stand pat, though, "we're going to have a good team regardless," manager Bob Melvin said.
Melvin's bullpen is stacked with talent, and a clean ninth inning from the previously struggling Jerry Blevins on Monday night offered encouragement to a team that will need to rely on each of its relievers down the stretch -- particularly the complement pieces to Grant Balfour, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook.
"I think a nice, clean inning like that goes a long way confidence-wise, because he's a guy we really do need in our bullpen," Melvin said. "When we're going through stretches like this where we're using our three key guys in our bullpen a lot, and certain guys aren't available, you're going to need a guy like Jerry Blevins. So that was a big outing for him."
Blevins struck out two in his perfect inning against the Blue Jays, after walking two without getting an out in his previous outing. Overall, he had allowed nine runs in his past 10 appearances before Monday, with opponents going 9-for-22 (.409) off him over that span.
"More so than anything," Melvin said, "command has been the issue, whether he was getting ahead and giving up two-strike hits or the other night when he walked a couple of guys, which is out of character for him. Command is big for him, and he certainly had it last night."
Anderson's latest bullpen session problem-free
OAKLAND -- Brett Anderson continues to provide the A's with nothing but encouraging news these days.
The A's lefty, sidelined since the end of April because of a stress fracture in his right foot, threw another bullpen on Tuesday afternoon, tallying 57 pitches without any issues. Teammate Nate Freiman stood in for the final 25.
"Good, really good," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's been encouraging to see. He's done a lot of work to keep his arm in shape, and it shows right now. A little bit more worried about the foot, but at this point had no issues with it at all and really got after it today."
A simulated game is likely next for Anderson, though Melvin said a concrete plan won't be announced until Wednesday. Should that be the case, a rehab assignment will probably follow, meaning his return could potentially come within the next two weeks, right around mid-August, as initially projected.
Melvin noted that it "depends where we are" when asked what the ideal pitch count would be for Anderson to reach before being activated, meaning the A's are still keeping the option open of bringing him back in the bullpen.
Such a scenario becomes even more probable if the A's add to their rotation before Wednesday's looming non-waiver Trade Deadline. White Sox righty Jake Peavy has been linked to the A's, among many teams this week, though the asking price is still very high, and Oakland is unwilling to let go of Dan Straily and top prospect Addison Russell.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.