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Anderson's AAA Start, Blackley's Fastball, And Much Much Less!

And you didn't think Tommy Milone's fastball was a blur.
And you didn't think Tommy Milone's fastball was a blur.

Some would call it "stream of consciousness rambling garbage". I prefer to think of it as "assorted thoughts"...

Brett Anderson made his second rehab start this evening, following a brief 2-inning start at single-A Stockton 5 days ago. This one was for AAA Sacramento, at Salt Lake City, and it was...interesting. Anderson's line after 4 innings:

4 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (1 HR, 53 pitches, 35 strikes).

Anderson allowed a solo HR in the 2nd to something known as a Luis Jimenez, then scattered 4 hits and 3 runs in the 4th. Going "inside the numbers"...

- It's probably worth noting that the game is in one of the PCL's "hitter friendly" parks.

- Anderson did not record a strikeout, but did induce 7 ground ball outs and did not record a fly ball out. That might make it appear that 5 outs are missing, but before you look behind the couch there was an out on the bases (a caught stealing) a DP, and three pop ups (that are not counted in the box score as "air outs").

- Without having seen the action, it would appear that Anderson's sinker is "there" and that his control is good (which is important, as often that's the last thing to gel in a TJS recovery), but that the "swing-and-miss" stuff isn't -- which means likely he's not throwing his slider much, if at all, yet and this is what you get when you go "2-seamer and changeup". So actually, probably many more positives than not. In any event, all that really matters is if he feels healthy tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Travis Blackley. He's pitching really well, instead of really badly, compared to 8 years ago. He's also throwing 90-91 MPH instead of around 85 MPH. Pitchers don't generally pick up 5 MPH of velocity on their fastball as they approach the age of 30. Does anyone actually know the reason behind Blackley's low velocity circa 2004 and/or behind his improved velocity circa now?

And sadly, the "Chris Ray" era is over. Yes, the A's have released Ray. Oh you didn't know we had Chris Ray? Well we did. For a few days. Apparently, Ray requested a release -- no word if he was at a massage parlor at the time.

Carry on.