The Athletics having Anderson, who's started all but one game in his career, pitch out of the bullpen may indicate he will be used as a reliever for the remainder of the 2013 season.
"It depends on what our needs are," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "We're keeping our options open, but we can get him back quicker in the bullpen, and that may be how we handle it to begin with."
Anderson has been out since April with a sprained right ankle and a navicular stress fracture in his right foot. Saturday will be his first rehab appearance since being placed on the disabled list.
The oft-injured Anderson has made just 44 appearances over the past four seasons for the Athletics, including pitching in just six games in both 2012 and 2013. Bringing Anderson back as a reliever could help him return to the team earlier while also putting less stress on his body and potentially keeping him healthier.
Oakland does not need another starting pitcher for now, anyway. Sonny Gray has pitched very well since being called up and four of Oakland's five starters currently have an ERA less than 4.00. The Athletics have the fourth-best team ERA in the American League.
The Athletics will see how Anderson performs before determining the next step in his rehab and the time frame on his return to the team.