Our player previews continue with Dodgers starter, Brett Anderson.
The 28 year old left-handed pitcher from Midland, Texas is entering his second season with the Dodgers. Anderson throws four different pitches: a fastball, change-up, curve and a sinker. His sinker is his best pitch in my opinion and the reason he gets batters to hit into groundballs. Anderson has had a career full of injuries and it looks like that is how 2016 is about to start off.
Brett Anderson signed a deal with the Dodgers on the last day of 2014 and walked into the 2015 New Year wearing Dodger blue instead of purple for the Rockies. In 2015, he started a career high 31 games. In those 31 games, he had a record of 10-9 and a 3.69 ERA. He also threw a career high in innings pitched with 180.1. His previous high for innings was 175.1 in 2009 with the Oakland Athletics. Brett Anderson arguably had the best numbers of his career in the majors last season. He even earned bonuses that added up to $2.4 million for his achievement in innings pitched.
Brett Anderson’s role was always overlooked because of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, he was never Ace material, but a solid starter to have behind your Ace in the rotation. For a guy that struggled with so many injuries in his career, it was great to see what Brett Anderson could do as a healthy pitcher.
2016 Role and Steamer Projections
Well this past week it was announced that Brett Anderson will be out for three to five months with a bulging disk in his back that has to be repaired surgically. So his role for the beginning of the 2016 season will be to get healthy and focus on rehab. After Anderson is fully recovered, he should join the Dodgers in their starting rotation.
Steamers projects that Anderson will have a record of 3-3 in 46.0 innings pitched and an ERA of 3.58. With the exception of Anderson’s innings pitched in 2009 and in 2015, the rest of his career he appeared in very few innings which is why the projections are so low. Struggling with injuries and time between the minors and the majors, Brett did not put in huge numbers of innings pitched in the same seasons.
What Could Go Wrong
Well, to start off this question already hurts my feelings a little when it comes to Anderson. I, along with many Dodger fans were expecting him to fill a spot in the rotation so when it was announced he was out for three to five months, before the first spring training game even started, I was disappointed.
After the 2015 season, Anderson signed a $15.8 million dollar qualifying offer in order to stay with the Dodgers. The only good news here is that Anderson is not owed an astronomical amount of money considering he will be spending some time on the bench.
Down the stretch in 2015, Anderson seemed to fade a little. You could tell he was tired and fatigued from the innings pitched. Even though an injury is a set back for the present, maybe it will help him in the long run and prevent exhaustion as the season dwindles down.
I hate to dare say what else could go wrong. Hopefully since Anderson has already undergone surgery he is on the road to recovery now.
What Could Go Right
The only positive to having an injury is having an injury appear right at the start of spring training. Hopefully this give Brett some time to recovery and get back faster to the Dodgers starting rotation, when it all counts during the season. He already seems to be optimistic.
He makes a great point. For a pitcher who has not averaged huge numbers in innings pitched every year, maybe being out in the first part of the season will be a benefit to him after coming off a season with so many career highs. At least that’s what I am hoping for.
Assuming all goes well, Anderson should be joining the roster again as early as June. We are all wishing him a speedy recovery and hope that Anderson can come back mid-season healthy and read for down the stretch.