Welcome to the 2023 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2023. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 15, Chase Anderson: 0.5 rWAR
Chase Anderson started the season with the Tampa Bay Rays and was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies on May 12th. After being claimed, Anderson started 17 games for the Rockies, who desperately needed started pitching due to a plethora of injuries.
Anderson himself would not escape the injury bug, suffering from shoulder inflammation that sidelined the right-hander from mid-July to the start of September.
Anderson’s stats are not the most flashy this year. He went 1-6 with a 5.75 ERA for Colorado this season, but despite the outdated “Pitcher Record” stat, the team went 8-9 in games started by the righty. Keeping the ball inside the park was one area in which Anderson struggled this year, and has struggled with throughout his career as a whole, giving up 17 home runs in as many starts this season.
To compound this issue, the righty had a WHIP of 1.475, meaning he averaged almost a runner and half per inning pitched. Excessive base runners and consistent home runs are not a good combination for the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field, which contributed to the inflated ERA. Despite this, Anderson did strike out 6.9 batter per nine innings and earned a 1.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which was enough to keep the Rockies in most of the games that he started.
After returning from the IL, Anderson made five starts in September that were much better than his previous starts earlier in the year.
In September, he went 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 25 2⁄3 innings. He limited his home runs to only three, which was improvement on his season stats of over one per start prior to his IL stint.
September 15th against the Giants was Anderson’s best outing of the season in which he pitched seven complete innings of no-hit ball. When Anderson was pulled from the game after the seventh inning, he was on the hook for the loss, despite not giving up a hit, as a couple of walks and a fielder’s choice gave the Giants’ a run without a hit. The Giants would eventually get a hit in the ninth, but the Rockies would go on to rally and win walk-off style.
Anderson turns 36 on November 30th and is now a free agent.
Given how Anderson pitched in September following his IL stint, the Rockies, desperately in need of starting pitching depth, may look to re-sign him.
Back on October 27th, our own Joelle Milholm explored re-signing Anderson, citing his resurgence towards the end of the season as one of the main reasons for keeping him around. Another reason is the Rockies could sign him for cheap with only a league-minimum salary in 2023. The Rockies could sign Anderson for a lower salary to provide starting pitching depth while also not having a significant financial investment if the performance stutters.
What do you think? Should the Rockies resign Chase Anderson, or should they explore other starting pitching options in 2024? Let us know in the comments!