When the Philadelphia Phillies first made the move to sign Chase Anderson this past offseason, the logic was pretty straightforward. Dave Dombrowski wanted an “innings eater” at the back of his rotation, and Anderson had been a really good one for the majority of his career.
Over the course of four seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers between 2016 and 2019, Anderson recorded a 3.83 ERA, pitching at least 139.0 innings each year.
While some may argue that the Phillies could use some more top-end pitching talent, having a rock solid #4/#5 starter has been an underrated need for the team for quite some time. They’ve rotated through arms like Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Cole Irvin, and even Jason Vargas – finding someone to trust beyond Nola/Wheeler/Eflin was a rightful priority for the front office this past offseason.
With all of that said, early returns weren’t looking too hot when it came to Anderson.
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The veteran right-hander recorded a 6.48 ERA through his first four starts, earning the “loss” in three of those matchups. He only averaged 4.05 innings pitched during each of those starts, which is obviously not the “innings eater” numbers that Dombrowski was hoping for when he signed Anderson.
Following his shaky first couple of outings, fans were quick to write off Anderson as a bad pitcher. With Matt Moore completely flopping during his first few outings, it was pretty easy to lump the two together as a pair of below average free agent additions.
However, following a strong performance on Friday night against the division rival New York Mets, maybe Chase has a little bit more to offer than some of the fanbase initially thought.
Philadelphia Phillies RHP Chase Anderson might not be that bad after all.
Anderson went 5.0+ innings, allowing just one run while striking out six. He only allowed seven total baserunners on the night, and did a pretty great job navigating through the Mets’ top of the order.
Is one run through 5.0 innings something worth getting crazy excited over? No, definitely not. But it’s exactly the type of “gutsy” performance that the Philadelphia Phillies are going to need out of their #4 and #5 starters moving forward, the type of start that keeps the offense in the game – even on nights when they’re struggling to put the ball into the outfield.
Anderson’s ERA at the moment still isn’t looking too hot (5.40), but there’s reason to believe that he’ll be able to lower it as he gets more comfortable pitching in red and white pinstripes. Even an ERA around the 4.30-4.50 range wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world considering the strength that the team has at the top of their rotation.
Dombrowski is definitely going to have to pull the plug on the Matt Moore experiment at some point this season, but it’s worth riding things out just a bit longer with Anderson. He looked pretty good on Friday facing off against Marcus Stroman – a couple more performances like that and the Phillies should be feeling pretty good about him being the team’s #4/#5 starter moving forward.