Much like Brett Anderson himself, the news Thursday that he will be Oakland's Opening Day starter was low-key. It has been evident since Brandon McCarthy left as a free agent that Anderson, 25, would be the A's top starter this season, particularly considering how well he performed after returning from Tommy John surgery last year. Anderson went 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA after coming back in August, in the heat of the pennant race. Then he gutted out six shutout innings in Game 3 of the Division Series against Detroit, despite feeling lingering effects from an oblique injury. "We really feel like he's the one to lead the staff," manager Bob Melvin said. Melvin pointed to Anderson's competitiveness and his top-notch stuff, which includes a good feel for his breaking pitches, which he can manipulate all sorts of ways. Anderson, typically, did not have a strong reaction to being told he'll face the Felix Hernandez-led Mariners to open the season April 1. "He took it in stride," Melvin said. "He said, 'Hey, every starter aspires to be an Opening Day starter.' That's as excited as he gets." Anderson thought Melvin was more excited about it than he was. "It sounded like he wanted a hug," Anderson joked. Anderson allowed one hit and struck out one in two innings in the A's 5-3 loss to the Cubs on Thursday. Read more: