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Rockies LHP prospect Tyler Anderson close to becoming big league rotation depth

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Anderson has a real shot to be inserted into the team's starting rotation depth plans sooner rather than later.

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Colorado Rockies pitching prospect Tyler Anderson's frustrating professional career is close to paying off.

The 26-year-old left-hander rarely has had an issue with getting batters out during his four-year stint in the Rockies organization. It's just that he's not on the mound quite enough for that insanely positive characteristic to matter much. Anderson owns a 2.39 ERA across four minor league levels since joining the Rockies as the 20th overall pick in the 2011 draft, but he's logged only 328 pro innings spanning 59 starts.

The good news is, after missing the entire 2015 season, Anderson appears well on his way to becoming a legitimate depth option for the major league rotation as soon as this year.

"He's progressing excellently," Rockies farm director Zach Wilson told Purple Row earlier in the offseason. "I have no doubt that he's going to make a complete recovery and be fully ready to go for spring training in 2016. At that point, it's going to be up to Tyler."

Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich echoed those sentiments at Rockies Fest on Saturday, telling reporters that Anderson should be in the mix for a big league job in 2016. It's unlikely that will be the case right out of the gates, though.

"It's been a while since he's pitched in games so there's going to be some rust he'll have to shake off," Wilson said. "But the positive is that his health is coming along very, very nicely and he's going to be ready to pitch very soon."

Anderson has spent the majority of the offseason at Salt River Fields with the organization's instructional league group preparing for his return to action. He last pitched in 2014, his age 24 season, when he finished with a 1.98 ERA and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings at Double-A Tulsa.

Assuming he's healthy, Anderson could see a little bit of time at Double-A once again to start the season before eventually moving on to Triple-A Albuquerque.