PHOENIX -- A's left-hander Brett Anderson exited his Cactus League start against the Arizona Diamondbacks today after just two batters with a strained muscle in the area of his neck and upper back.
Anderson was covering third base after a fielding error by third baseman Josh Donaldson and fell backward reaching for a throw from Donaldson as Diamondbacks runner Adam Eaton slid into the bag.
The A's announced Anderson sustained a strained right trapezius.
*** UPDATE (2:12 p.m.)
Anderson said he felt the muscle "kind of balled up and spasmed a little bit" on the play but that he "(doesn't) think it's anything major."
Anderson had to reach back to his right for the flip and said he felt the muscle tighten as he got up. He said he left the game mostly as a precautionary measure.
"You don't want to overcompensate and change your mechanics and hurt your arm or something else more major," Anderson said. "So it's kind of a precautionary thing, come out and not make it any worse."
Anderson had an electro-therapy device on in the clubhouse and said the muscle was "looser than it was when I was out there, but still a little stiff." He said he expects to be stiff tomorrow and was waiting to hear from trainers about how they'll treat the issue.
Flashing some humor, Anderson said he probably would have been able to tag Eaton out had he handled the flip.
"Pure athleticism at its finest at third base," he said.
Anderson walked back to the mound rolling his neck and was visited immediately by a trainer and A's manager Bob Melvin. After a brief conversation, Anderson left the game rubbing the back of his neck.
Anderson, whom the A's have announced as their Opening Day starter, made six starts last regular season after coming back from Tommy John surgery. Right-hander Mike Ekstrom entered today's game in relief of Anderson.
-- Matt Kawahara