MLB: AZ Diamondbacks Pitcher Chase Anderson
When the regular season begins for the AZ Diamondbacks’ on April 6th, it would be nice to see right-hander, Chase Anderson, as part of the team’s starting rotation. As a starter last season, from May through late September, Anderson had a 9-7 record, with a 4.01 ERA in 21 starts.
When General Manager Dave Stewart began making off-season pitching acquisitions Anderson, who was thought to be a member of the Diamondback’s 2015 starting rotation, finds himself competing for a starting spot.
The Diamondbacks took Anderson in the ninth round of the draft, out of Oklahoma, back in 2009, but his story since then has often been about the health of his right arm. After missing most of 2011 with a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow, with more elbow problems to follow in 2012 and 2013, Anderson was moved to the bullpen for the 2013 season at AAA Reno. The team wanted to see if that might be a better role to keep him healthy. However, he did not perform well out of the bullpen at Reno. He was at AA Mobile for the start of the 2014 minor league season and was back in the starting rotation. He was 4-2 with a 0.69 ERA with 38 strikeouts and six walks in 39 innings when the Diamondbacks called him up to the big leagues.
His fastball could dip to speeds as low as 87 and a reach highs of 94 MPH, averaging round 90 MPH. He has shown exceptional command of his sinker, to go along with a very good changeup. And, both his curveball and slider have looked good, as well. This is a typical set-up for a classic third or fourth starter role. Anderson does not a blow-hitters-away, but he is a pitcher who can work into the seventh inning. The one concern with Anderson is, he is a fly-ball pitcher, and that led to him giving up 16 homeruns last year, including 10 at hitter-friendly Chase Field.
Whether Anderson caught “lightning in a bottle” last season remains to be seen. But, his work last season did make him one of the most effective pitchers, on an otherwise inefficient starting staff, which hopefully has earned him a very long look this spring.
If Anderson can avoid any further arm problems and pitch like he did last year, before a tired arm finally got to him, he could be a good back-end starter, behind Josh Collmenter and Jeremy Hellickson.
Opening Day is April 6th at Chase Field against the SF Giants.
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