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Colorado Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson excited to be healthy & pitching again after injuries

The Rockies' left-handed pitching prospect threw two innings on Wednesday afternoon and was excited about being back in the fray.

Tyler Anderson returned to competitive baseball on Wednesday afternoon.
Tyler Anderson returned to competitive baseball on Wednesday afternoon.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Scottsdale, Ariz. — After losing all of 2015 and parts of previous seasons to intermittent injuries to his pitching elbow, Tyler Anderson is finally healthy again. On Wednesday, he made his first Cactus League appearance—and first competitive outing since the 2014 Texas League playoffs—in the Colorado Rockies' 6-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Though the result (two innings pitched with three runs allowed on four hits, against three strikeouts) wasn't competitively ideal, the final line was the furthest thing from Anderson's mind immediately after the outing.

"Unbelievable, it was so much fun," Anderson told Purple Row in reaction to his appearance in Wednesday's spring training opener. "It’s awesome to be back out there."

And although it's been well over a year since the lefty has pitched competitively, Anderson wasn't focused on easing into game action; rather, his competitive side came out even in this spring contest.

"I’ll take competitive any day," Anderson said about jumping back into baseball. "You can work it out in stride, but I’d rather go out there and work on competing, because that’s something I haven’t done in a long time, and that’s something I really need to work on."

Work was Anderson's fate in two innings on the mound at Salt River Fields—but as you'd expect, the prospect still needs to shake off the cobwebs over the next month.

"Usually, I slow the game down a little more," Anderson said about the particulars of his outing, which included giving up a two-run home run.

"It had been a long time so I let it kind of speed up a little bit. Before I knew it, it went from two outs and nobody on, to three runs across the board. Like damn, that was quick. But it happens fast, so I’ve got to just work on keeping it slow."

Slow is all Anderson had known for the last 18 months, and getting shelved with an injury that took a long time to heal left him even more thankful to be in the position he finds himself today, fully healthy.

"You just learn how important health is," Anderson mused in front of his locker. "It’s unbelievable, if you’re not healthy, you can’t play, so I spent the whole offseason just trying to take care of my body and maintenance stuff, trying to learn how to do that."

"But really, it was just taking some time to let [the elbow] heal," Anderson added. "It never really had a chance to heal, so it’s kind of been there for a long time. We finally got it to go completely away, and now we just go."

From here, Anderson—who said he'll most likely pitch competitively again in four or five days—is expecting to be extended out as a starter the rest of the way this spring. Just don't expect him to look that far ahead.

"I'm making a goal for tomorrow, and that's to get a good workout in," Anderson said. "Beyond that it's just too hard to look that far ahead. I'm just doing whatever I can, trying to execute pitches. Getting as good as I can at executing any pitch."

Wednesday, then, was the first of many important steps Tyler Anderson will take to find his way back to competition this summer. So far, so good, with a month left to go.