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2021 report card: Chase Anderson

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That’s what you gambled on?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Part of the duo of pitchers signed to cheap one-year deals to provide depth to the starting rotation, Chase Anderson flamed out in a big way, eventually earning his release.

2021 stats

14 G (9 GS), 48 IP, 1.48 WHIP, 16.3 K%, 9.3 BB%, 1.88 HR/9, 6.75 ERA (5.86 FIP), -0.3 fWAR

The good

When the season started, not much was expected from Anderson. He had been named the fifth starter on the team and as we all know with fifth starters, it’s more or less a bullpen day where the first guy you hope gives 4-5 solid innings. Anderson did pretty much that in his first five starts, giving the team 21 23 innings where he allowed 13 runs on 21 hits, walking ten and striking out 19. All things considered, not horrible but again, it’s your fifth pitcher. That’s about as good as you should be expecting.

This would represent the high point of Anderson’s season.

The bad

In his next nine appearances (four starts), Anderson allowed the opponents to hit to the tune of a .954 OPS. In 26 13 innings, those same numbers ballooned to include 23 runs allowed on 30 hits, ten walks and sixteen strikeouts. He also allowed seven home runs as opposed to three in his previous five appearances.

Was he miscast as a starter? Based on his previous years, probably not. He was solid as a starter as recently as 2019, pitching to a 106 ERA+ in Milwaukee. Gambling that he’d bounce back from a horrific pandemic season wasn’t the worst bet in the world, but it was one that lost spectacularly. As with all of the team’s other cheap one-year/minor league deals, none of them worked out well for the team, meaning the depth that they were supposed to be provide wasn’t there. That created a domino effect on the team where they then had to turn to their minor league system that clearly wasn’t prepared to give reinforcements good enough to help prop up the team’s playoff run.

All because the team wanted to save a few bucks on starting pitchers.

The future

None.

And we’re all better off for it.

Final grade: F

Anderson’s final grade is more of an indictment on the front office than on him. He should’ve never been an option for the rotation. The bullpen? Ok, that may be something different to discuss. But as a rotation member, Anderson was never going to work. Not only that, he cost the team money, money they could have used at the trade deadline to acquire someone who could actually help the team.

Get better talent evaluators, Dave.