Anderson makes strides in bullpen session

Thearon W. Henderson/2012 getty images file photoThe A's will take the tarps off the third deck when the playoffs start

OAKLAND — A's left-hander Brett Anderson threw 57 pitches in a bullpen session at the Coliseum on Tuesday and A's manager Bob Melvin said he “really got after it.”

Anderson, who's been out of the lineup since April 30 with a stress fracture in his right foot, mixed in all of his pitches with Nate Freiman standing in for the “last 25 or so.”

“He's done a lot of work to keep his arm in shape and it shows right now,” Melvin said. “Little bit more worried about the foot, but at this point, had no issues with it.”

Melvin said he plans to make an announcement about what's next for Anderson after he checks in with him Wednesday.

No deadline pressure: With the non-waiver trade deadline set for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, rumors are swirling that the A's are finally going to pull the trigger on a deal this year. Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy is among the players that general manager Billy Beane is rumored to be interested in.

But Melvin said he isn't getting “too caught up” in all the speculation.

“Regardless of what happens, we're going to have a good team,” he said. “Billy's been through this many times before and he'll do the right thing.”

Hitting the knuckle: The A's will take their first hacks against a knuckleball this season when 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey takes the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Dickey is struggling in his return to the American League this year, compiling an 8-11 record with a 4.86 ERA in 22 starts. But Melvin said knuckleballers are hard to prepare for.

“I've been different places where you try to do some different things, whether it's just in the cage trying to slow it down a little bit,” Melvin said. “But he does throw a hard knuckleball at times, too. He's just a good pitcher, he's very unique.”

Melvin said he doesn't know of any players on the team who can throw a knuckleball.

“Maybe we'll see what Ariel [Prieto] can do,” Melvin said of his coach, a former A's pitcher. “He throws left, he throws right — who knows? Maybe he's got a knuckleball, too.”

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