DETROIT -- It's been three years since Daric Barton drew consistent playing time in the big leagues, his numbers having since dissipated.
Yet Barton, back with Oakland for a second time this season after hitting .297 in 110 games for Triple-A Sacramento, is in better spirits than ever. That's because his mindset has become his utmost priority.
"You know what? Besides being healthy, that's been the biggest thing," said Barton, recalled Monday to take the injured Josh Reddick's roster spot. "It was the only thing. It was the only thing I focused on all year, really the mental aspect of not just my play on the field but off it as well, having a consistent approach not just to baseball but to life, trying to stay positive and to do what I can that day. I learned to turn the page real quick on bad days."
Barton, 28, had plenty of bad days with the A's, and he subsequently fell out of favor with the organization that once touted him so highly. Twice he's been outrighted. Yet he's still here, and on Monday he celebrated his return with a two-hit, two-RBI night in an A's win in Detroit.
It marked his first action with the A's since May. And with September just days away and rosters soon expanding, he's likely here to stay, providing the club with a sure-handed glove at first base while Brandon Moss helps out in right field in Reddick's stead.
"Being called up twice, I never expected it -- the first time, let alone now -- so it was a pleasant surprise," Barton said. "Now I'm going to try to do what I can to help the team win, just be myself, whatever happens happens, not worry about the outcome and take every day as a new day and just kind of enjoy it. I don't know how much longer I'll be here, depending on what happens next year, so I'm grateful to be here now, and I'm just looking forward to having fun and doing what I can to make the playoffs.
"It's a great opportunity for me to show them that I can still play. I haven't gone anywhere."
Colon on target to return to A's on Thursday in Detroit
DETROIT -- The A's plan to welcome back Bartolo Colon to their rotation in Detroit on Thursday.
That's the same day they're slated to face 19-game winner Max Scherzer, so consider the return of one of their own best pitchers to be rather good timing.
A's manager Bob Melvin said there likely won't be any limitations with Colon, who has been recovering from a strained left groin.
"We'll see, play it by ear with him," Melvin said Tuesday. "He was a little worn down before the groin became an issue. He wasn't pitching his best, so we'll monitor him and see what he has to offer early on. Usually he tells you early in the game what kind of stuff he has."
Colon was without the good kind of stuff in the two starts leading to his DL stint, giving up 10 earned runs in a combined 6 2/3 innings over that span. He had surrendered just nine earned runs in his previous 49 1/3 innings over seven starts.
Still, the 40-year-old's 2.97 ERA ranked seventh in the American League going into Tuesday, and the prospect of having the dominant version of Colon back is an encouraging one for an A's team that has watched its rotation struggle to be consistent as of late.
Before the All-Star break, A's starters combined for a 3.86 ERA, third best in the AL. Since, they've posted a 4.11 ERA, which ranks 10th in the league.
Russell highlights list of A's playing in Arizona Fall League
DETROIT -- A's top prospect Addison Russell highlights the list of names revealed on the Arizona Fall League rosters announced on Tuesday.
Russell, the A's first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, is hitting .279 in his first full season with Class A Stockton and is also holding his own at shortstop. He is one of seven A's Minor Leaguers who will participate in the six-team Fall League beginning in early October.
Right-handers Ryan Dull and Seth Frankoff, along with lefty Omar Duran -- all teammates of Russell in Stockton -- will join him on the Mesa Solar Sox club.
Double-A Midland first baseman Max Muncy, taken by the A's in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft, will also join them, as will Midland lefty Jeff Urlaub and Triple-A Sacramento catcher David Freitas.
• The A's have yet to make a decision on when they'll activate Brett Anderson (right foot) off the disabled list, though Melvin maintains that time could still come during his club's four-game series in Detroit that concludes Thursday.
Several factors come into play with the decision, including how members of the rotation -- notably Tommy Milone and Dan Straily -- fare against the Tigers on Tuesday and Wednesday, and whether their performances dictate extra bullpen help or perhaps even rotation help down the road.
• There is still no timetable for John Jaso's return. Melvin said the A's catcher, still suffering concussion symptoms, "is feeling a little better now, taking some swings, not as nauseated as he was before, waking up a little better."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.