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Melvin praises Cahill, Anderson for their output

Veteran hurlers have been pleasant surprises in their second stints with A's
Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Athletics manager Bob Melvin has been pleased with the impact that pitchers Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson have made in their second tour of duty with the ball club and joked that it could lead to a few other former Oakland pitchers returning.

"We'll probably go after [Mark] Mulder at some point, maybe [Barry] Zito will make a comeback," Melvin said Sunday. "It's a little bit of back to the future here."

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OAKLAND -- Athletics manager Bob Melvin has been pleased with the impact that pitchers Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson have made in their second tour of duty with the ball club and joked that it could lead to a few other former Oakland pitchers returning.

"We'll probably go after [Mark] Mulder at some point, maybe [Barry] Zito will make a comeback," Melvin said Sunday. "It's a little bit of back to the future here."

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Cahill and Anderson were late additions to the A's in Spring Training and both spent time in the Minors before being called up. Cahill is 1-1 in four starts, but has been superb at home where he hasn't allowed a run in 13 innings. The right-hander set a career-high with 12 strikeouts in Saturday's 12-inning win over Baltimore but left with a no-decision.

Anderson, a lefty, is set to make his second start on Monday when Oakland opens a three-game series against Houston. Anderson is coming off a mostly strong outing against Seattle in his first start since replacing struggling Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman.

Video: OAK@SEA: Anderson strikes out Cruz in the 2nd

"These guys are pitching well so a lot of credit to them for keeping themselves ready at a time in a tough spring for free agents, guys that didn't have jobs especially until late," Melvin said. "It's impressive what they're doing."

More help for the rotation could be on the way.

Graveman made his second start in the Minors Sunday, allowing two runs and striking out five in 6 1/3 innings, and Melvin expects the right-hander to be back with the big league club at some point.

"For a guy like him to get off to the type of start that he did, now there's pressure on each and every game to have to win," Melvin said. "He's going through some mechanical changes in his windup. His pitch complement's a little different so we felt like it was prudent for him to go down there and pitch without the pressures of being here and try to upgrade his repertoire, and then come back here and do this thing like we've seen him do in the past."

Paul Blackburn also threw off a mound for the first time since landing on the disabled list with a right forearm strain.

"He is on the mound so there's a natural progression that we go through to get them ready to go pitch rehab games," Melvin said. "It's still a little bit of a progression but the fact that he's throwing off the mound is very encouraging."

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Oakland Athletics