GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson threw to hitters for the first time since August back surgery on Wednesday, climbing the next rung in his return to the mound.
"It was an important step to break up the monotony. It's good. You can only throw so many bullpens before you need to face competition that can give you some feedback," Anderson said. "It's getting out of the baseball camp mode and feeling like a real baseball player. Even though it was against teammates, it gets you ready to face real competition."
Anderson, who has averaged 52 innings per season in the last four years suffering from a variety of injuries, tweeted after his time on the mound.
Threw to hitters for the first time today. It's nice to feel like a real baseball player again.— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) March 4, 2015
Anderson threw 38 pitches in two simulated innings, facing Matt Carson and Scott Schebler on the back fields during morning workouts.
"I threw all my pitches, it was good," Anderson said. "I got good feedback from hitters, and now it's on to real games."
Real games for Anderson means starting Monday afternoon against the Giants in Scottsdale, his first start of what has been a healthy spring for the left-hander.
Anderson even got feedback from Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax, now a special advisor with the club who has been in camp at Camelback Ranch for about a week.
"He had positive things to say. That was a big confidence boost. It wasn't any one pitch. He said he liked the way I worked and the way I went about it," Anderson recalled. "To hear that from a guy of his stature is pretty special."