Remember Brett Anderson?
It’s been a while since the lefty was on the big league radar, having pitched only so-so to kick off the season before a couple disastrous starts and back tightness sent him to the disabled list for a couple months.
He’s been resting and rehabbing in Arizona, pitching in extended Spring Training games. With the rookie league season getting underway, the Cubs are opting now to send Anderson to AA Tennessee for a rehab start today (Wittenmyer).
Anderson, 29, was a flyer signing for the Cubs late in the offseason, who received an incentive-laden one-year contract, and wound up winning the fifth starter job in Spring Training largely on the strength of his health and Mike Montgomery’s ability to swing into the bullpen. From there, it would be hard to say things proceeded in a surprising way: Anderson, who missed almost all of 2016 following back surgery, made a handful of starts before succumbing to the familiar retreat of the DL.
The thing is, for his whole career, Anderson has been really, really good when healthy. So, even now, it would be silly to completely ignore him and not offer an opportunity for him to return to the rotation if he gets healthy. Can you count on him to make every start the rest of the way whenever he does return? No. That’s the real risk. But take starts when he’s healthy? Give him that chance? Yes, I certainly would like to see it.
Anderson is on the 60-day DL and is not eligible to return until the first week of July, so this is still a ways off. We’ll have a number of minor league rehab starts to observe and see how Anderson is feeling.
His start tonight will actually be in Mobile, Alabama, and it sounds like it’s been a little trouble on the travel front:
Getting to Mobile from Phoenix for a rehab start is turning out to be more of an ordeal than I thought @AmericanAir
— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson3737) June 25, 2017
Hopefully he gets there fine, the back feels fine, and he can recover adequately.