Mar 9, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brett Anderson (35) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during a spring training baseball game at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Anderson vs Chase Anderson
Firsts are always difficult for newly signed Dodgers, toeing the line between “worth a significant amount of money” and “bum who underperformed his contract” is hard. Now add in the fact that newly signed starter, Brett Anderson hasn’t started 20 games in a season since Lady Gaga was relevant, and the pressure has skyrocketed.
It should be noted that 10 million dollars a year gets you Bronson Arroyo type talent on the open market nowadays, Ricky Nolasco got a 12 million dollar per year guarantee for christs sake! If there ever was a defense for Brett Anderson, it’s that comparatively, the pitching market for perenially injured/high upside talent has skyrocketed with the mediocre/little upside talent market, not against it.
So it starts today, Anderson’s season long quest to pitch in 20, 25, or even 30 starts in a season. To his credit, in his 8 starts last season, he posted a sub 3.00 FIP in Coors Field, and he’s never had a FIP above 4.00, so clearly the talent isn’t the issue with Brett.
The storyline that ties in closest to Anderson’s success will be the performance of Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, and Juan Uribe. The former two have looked like they always have, very good defenders always in the mix for gold gloves, Kendrick made a superb sliding catch and throw in the Wednesday game against the Padres that probably secured the game for the team, defense matters!
However the latter two have had some difficulties, Rollins has looked sloppy on defense, culminating with 2 fairly egregious errors in the 27 innings he’s played in, and Uribe has lumbered around for much of the 3 games. Not anything to worry about yet, but because Anderson has an obscene 55.4% career groundball percentage, he’s going to need a lot of help from his infield if he’s going to be the starter with #2 upside.
And we’d be remiss if we went an entire pregame thread without mentioning Adrian Gonzalez. In Case You Missed It (how could you!?), he’s the only dude, like ever, to hit 5 home runs in his teams first 3 games. That’s a lot of dingers and he only had 2 after his first 2 games. Gonzalez is locked in right now and oh by the way, he’s going to the place where he’s hit .342/.412/.654 in his career. That career slugging% at Chase Field is over 1.000 points lower than his slugging percentage in 2015, so he should probably work on those “numbers” at Chase Field. And if you aren’t convinced that he’s primed for another big series, well, Chase Anderson gave up 16 dingers in 114.1 innings last season, so *fans self*
The Diamondbacks are kind of a mess, they sent their prized Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas to the minors because they don’t have enough spots in the OF (Mark Trumbo is starting in RF, mind you). They are using Tuffy Gosewisch (who looks nothing like a Tuffy Gosewisch) as their starting catcher with a straight face, and by the way, Josh Collmenter, opening day starter.
It looks like a 90-100 loss season for that team, Archie Bradley is fun, so is Braden Shipley, Touki Toussaint is exciting, but only one of these are expected to contribute this season, it’s definitely a rebuilding season for Arizona
Also, for all the talk about “right handed power” the Dodgers scored 16 runs in 3 games against the Padres. That’s with no production from the catching spot, one hit from Yasiel Puig, and 2 hits from Juan Uribe. I got this feeling that they’ll be fine.
Game starts at 6:10 PM (pacific time)