OAKLAND -- The A's announced before Tuesday's game against the Rangers that they reinstated outfielder Collin Cowgill from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento. Cowgill had been on the DL since June 23 with a sprained left ankle.

Cowgill spent six games on a rehab assignment split between Class A Stockton and Sacramento, collecting four hits in 26 at-bats. He began the season with the River Cats before he was called up on May 11. Cowgill appeared in 32 games with the A's before he was injured.

Given the offense's recent production, the spark that recent callup Chris Carter has given the team and that outfielder Coco Crisp appears like he's close to returning from his left shoulder soreness, there wasn't a natural candidate on Oakland's roster to be sent out to make room for Cowgill.

"Chris [Carter] is probably the one guy that wasn't here when [Cowgill] was, and the impact he's having, it's important to have Chris here right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "There's just not a spot for Collin.

"Again, our 25-man team here is, for me, 32-strong, and we'll get more contributions from guys that aren't here right now before this thing's all said and done, and he's one of those guys."

The 26-year-old hit .271 for the A's and was hitting .260 for Sacramento at the time of his callup. Melvin said he expects Cowgill to play all three outfield positions for the River Cats.

Anderson ready to start rehab assignment

OAKLAND -- Brett Anderson says he's starting to feel "more like a real baseball player" again.

Just wait until the A's lefty experiences game action for the first time in more than a year, as he's slated to do Saturday. He'll throw three innings -- or 45 pitches, whichever comes first -- as he begins a rehab stint with Class A Stockton.

Anderson, who underwent Tommy John surgery just over a year ago, appeared in the A's clubhouse on Tuesday, two days removed from an encouraging simulated game in Arizona, where he utilized his entire repertoire in a 45-pitch session.

He'll throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and, barring any setbacks, will take to the mound for the Ports three days later and continue on a normal five-day rotation, all the while building up innings as he works toward rejoining the A's.

"Hopefully they can eventually find a spot for me," he said, laughing. "I don't know if they need me right now, the way we've been going. Me, Dallas [Braden] and [Brandon] McCarthy are going to have to fight for a spot."

Crisp could return Wednesday

OAKLAND -- After a doctor found no structural damage in Coco Crisp's left shoulder on Monday, the outfielder is now nearing a return to Oakland's lineup.

A's manager Bob Melvin said on Tuesday that Crisp would hit and participate in game activities before the team's game against the Rangers. He'll be reevaluated on Wednesday and could potentially return then. Even if he doesn't, Melvin said it doesn't look like Crisp will have to go to the disabled list.

"We're a lot closer than we were the last couple days," Melvin said. "He went and saw the doctor, there's nothing structurally wrong, so it's just a matter of when he feels comfortable swinging the bat from both sides, and that'll be the determining factor."

Crisp, who's had multiple hits in four of his last six games, first felt soreness in his shoulder in his first at-bat on Friday against Minnesota. He played through it, but then missed the next two games against the Twins.

Josh Reddick has filled in for Crisp in center field in the three games since Crisp's injury, with Seth Smith and Brandon Moss splitting time in Reddick's natural domain of right field.

Worth noting

• Injured right-hander Brandon McCarthy played catch again on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. It marks the first time the pitcher will throw from a mound since going on the 15-day DL on June 20 with his reoccurring right shoulder soreness. McCarthy hasn't started a game since June 19 against the Dodgers.

• Left-hander Dallas Braden, on the mend from a strain in his surgically repaired left shoulder, threw another bullpen session on Tuesday. It consisted of 40 pitches, and Braden used all of his offerings, including breaking balls, for the first time in his rehab. He'll throw another bullpen session after a few days of rest.

• Melvin said that Yoenis Cespedes could return to the outfield as soon as Wednesday. The rookie has been in the lineup as the designated hitter in all four games since he sprained his left thumb in Oakland's final tilt before the All-Star break against the Mariners.