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Chase Anderson has unexpectedly become the new stopper for the Colorado Rockies (plus Pebble Report)

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, June 5, 2023

It has been a very interesting career arc for Chase Anderson, one of the newest Colorado Rockies’ acquisitions. Exclusively a starter to begin his career, Anderson produced mostly league-average figures during a six-year stretch from 2014-2019 with the exception of a standout 2017 season sandwiched in that span where he went 12-4 with a 2.74 ERA over 141 ⅓ innings with just 113 hits allowed and 133 strikeouts.

He produced a 160 ERA+ that season with the Milwaukee Brewers and looked prime to elevate his game to another level and possibly become a top-of-the-rotation-caliber starter. But his production hit the skids at the end of 2019 and he was gradually relegated to a bullpen role with the occasional spot-start more and more in the coming seasons.

That role quickly became an audition for work for Anderson, as he cycled through the league after being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays prior to 2020. Since spending the pandemic season north of the border, Anderson has been with the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays (twice) and now, the Rockies.

That’s seven organizations in four years.

You don’t generally go through the DFA carousel by being highly productive, and that was true of Anderson from 2020-2022 where he posted a 6.81 ERA in 105 ⅔ innings. But Anderson has found new life in 2023 and seized an opportunity for a Rockies’ pitching staff desperate for stability.

Chase Anderson w/ Rockies 2023

Stat Anderson
Stat Anderson
IP 21.2
ERA 2.08
WHIP 1.015
BB/9 2.1
ERA+ 246
fWAR 1.3

Elbow issues at the beginning of May knocked Germán Márquez out for the season and put Antonio Senzatela on the shelf indefinitely. Minor league option Noah Davis also hit the injured list because of arm issues and José Ureña posted a 9.82 ERA in five April starts, leading to his release just one month into the season.

Quickly losing ⅗ of the rotation left the front office scrambling, leading to Anderson being claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on May 12. He’s done nothing but shine since then in four starts, allowing two runs or less while throwing five innings or more in each outing.

It’s been a stabilizing force for not only the Colorado rotation but for Anderson. His turbulent journey in recent seasons led him to the pitching factory that is Tampa Bay where he learned how to reinvent himself. This is what he had to say when talking with Kevin Henry from Call to the Pen:

“I think with Tampa, that organization is really good at finding out your strengths pretty quickly and really simplifying the approach,” Anderson said. “I think that’s helped me mentally to know what pitches to go to when I’m on the mound when I need to.

“I spent some time with them (Rays) last year in Triple-A at Durham in August and then the short stint in the big leagues this year. I have nothing but good things to say about Tampa. They’ve helped me out a lot on the pitching side.”

The most notable change to Anderson’s repertoire is the propensity of his cutter, which he is throwing at a career-high 23.7% rate this season. This is complimenting his four-seam fastball and changeup, with his sinker waiting in his back pocket when the matchup calls for it.

Anderson’s profile has stood out in the Colorado rotation, leading to positive results. Not only is he the lone starter to utilize a cutter at a significant clip, but his multi-fastball approach is considerably different relative to his peers. He offers three breaking balls, but hovers around a usage rate of just 5% for each of the pitches.

That is a far contrast from his peers as Kyle Freeland has a usage rate around 20% for both his slider and curveball while Austin Gomber tosses his curveball 20% and slider 13% of the time. Connor Seabold has had to fill-in in the rotation and leans on his slider at a 30% rate while Ryan Feltner – who has been out with injury since shortly after Anderson joined the club – has a 31% rate on his slider.

Anderson’s unique profile alone does not explain his success, but the differentiation he provides has certainly proved effective so far. And it couldn’t come at a better time, as injuries and ineffectiveness have left Colorado burning through the bullpen at an alarming rate. He likely won’t sustain this level all year but, for now, he is showing all the signs of stability for both the Colorado rotation and his big-league career.

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Injuries & Moves: Mears optioned to Triple-A |

It’s been a busy past few days for the Rockies. On Thursday, Noah Davis was reinstated from the IL and option to Triple-A and Kris Bryant was put on the 10-day IL while Charlie Blackmon was activated from the bereavement list.

Over the weekend, LHP Ryan Rolison had a scare, leaving his Saturday start with a shoulder injury in the second inning. Information is limited, but manager Bud Black downplayed the injury, stating “He just couldn’t get loose, from what I understand.” Additionally, Nick Mears was reinstated from the 15-day IL and was optioned to Triple-A.

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Pebble Report: May 29 - June 4, 2023

The Colorado Rockies’ farm was seemingly at a disadvantage this week, playing all four series on the road. The results matched the steep task, as only High-A Spokane came out even in their series against Tri-City (LAA). One reasons for the Indians’ success was ace RHP Gabriel Hughes (No. 8 PuRP), who dazzled again with eight strikeouts over five shutout innings.

He’s had a few hiccups this season, but has posted 16 strikeouts to four walks over ten innings in his last two starts. This has led to rumors that he will soon be making his Double-A debut with the Hartford Yard Goats, presumably taking the spot of Case Williams (No. 26 PuRP) who just hit the IL.

Top 30 PuRPs

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (1-5, 27-34 overall)

It was a mixed-bag of results that ultimately led to a disappointing outcome against Salt Lake (LAA). On the mound, Noah Davis returned from injury and tossed four shutout innings with six strikeouts and just two hits allowed. On the other side of the spectrum, Jeff Criswell (HM PuRP) got torched for 10 runs on 12 hits in just 4 13 innings.

The story was similar for the Isotopes’ bats. Aaron Schunk (HM PuRP) had a tremendous week with four doubles and a homer contributing to his 13 hits — leading to a tremendous .542/.538/.833 slash line — and Yonathan Daza pulled off a cool 10-for-26 week. Meanwhile, Michael Toglia (No. 13 PuRP) had just a .467 OPS in 24 AB and Coco Montes managed only three hits in five games, although he did draw five walks.

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (2-4, 23-27 overall)

The Hartford bats struggled against Akron (CLE) pitching, with Grant Lavigne’s (No. 20 PuRP) six hits marking the high-water mark for the offense during the series. Lavigne also drew six walks and went deep once to go with two doubles in six games. Braxton Fulford made his Double-A debut in the series, going deep once as part of his three hits. On the mound, Chris McMahon (No. 15 PuRP) delivered two strong outings, allowing three runs over 9 13 innings with eight strikeouts to just one walk.

High-A: Spokane Indians (3-3, 26-24 overall)

While Hughes shined in his start in Tri-City (LAA), Victor Juarez (No. 22 PuRP) also delivered in his start with just one run across over six innings. Sterlin Thompson (No. 14 PuRP) returned from injury with a bang, hitting two home runs and double in 13 AB. Nic Kent also had a great performance on the road, leading the team with eight hits in six games.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (2-4, 25-26 overall)

Skyler Messinger was the leading offensive force in San Jose (SF), knocking a team-leading eight hits in 18 AB, finishing with a .444/.476/.444 slash line. Power was at a premium, however, as Kody Huff knocked out the only Grizzlies’ home run. The star on the mound was once again Jordy Vargas (No. 10 PuRP) who allowed just three hits and one run over six innings while punching-out seven.

Week of 7/31-8/6 (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adael Amador 3 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 3/17 0 3 6 0
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 3/19 1 3 7 0
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 4/19 0 2 4 0
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 6/18 0 8 1 0
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 4/9 0 0 3 0
Michael Toglia 13 MLB 9/28 0 5 7 1
Sterlin Thompson 14 High-A 4/20 0 2 7 3
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 3/21 0 1 3 0
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hunter Goodman 19 Double-A 3/12 1 1 4 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 5/22 1 3 12 0
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 6/23 0 1 4 1
Ryan Ritter HM High-A 7/19 0 0 10 0
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 3/17 0 1 6 0

Week of 9/11-9/17 (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 1/1 5.0 0/0 1 10
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Case Williams 26 Double-A 1/1 2.2 7/6 3 3
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 1/1 6.0 1/1 2 5
Noah Davis 29 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 1/1 5 3/3 3 6
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 2/0 3 0/0 3 5

Season to Date (Hitters)

Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Name PuRP Ranking Level H/AB HR BB SO SB
Ezequiel Tovar 1 MLB N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Zac Veen 2 Double-A (IL) 36/172 2 23 43 22
Adael Amador 3 Double-A (IL) 78/255 12 37 32 14
Drew Romo 4 Double-A 83/327 13 29 67 6
Benny Montgomery 5 High-A 110/438 10 52 135 18
Warming Bernabel 7 Double-A 68/302 6 15 68 2
Jordan Beck 9 Double-A 132/487 25 73 142 20
Yanquiel Fernandez 12 Double-A 127/479 25 32 132 1
Michael Toglia 13 Triple-A 79/308 16 53 82 3
Sterlin Thompson 14 Double-A 104/355 14 38 74 17
Dyan Jorge 16 Low-A 56/198 0 13 35 10
Brenton Doyle 17 MLB 15/49 5 8 19 1
Hunter Goodman 19 MLB 83/348 25 41 98 0
Grant Lavigne 20 Double-A 101/445 17 77 142 4
Julio Carreras 24 Double-A 73/311 5 33 81 13
Ryan Ritter HM Double-A 124/441 24 62 152 20
Aaron Schunk HM Triple-A 126/439 14 42 116 12

Season to Date (Pitchers)

Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Name PuRP Ranking Level G/GS IP R/ER BB SO
Jaden Hill 6 High-A (IL) 16/16 43.2 47/46 25 57
Gabriel Hughes 8 Double-A (IL) 14/14 66.2 51/46 26 83
Jordy Vargas 10 Low-A (IL) 13/13 64.0 35/30 24 69
Joe Rock 11 Double-A 19/19 90.0 53/45 32 108
Chris McMahon 15 Double-A (IL) 15/15 67.0 48/44 25 66
Ryan Rolison 18 Triple-A (IL) 4/4 11.0 11/11 6 9
Sam Weatherly 21 High-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Victor Juarez 22 High-A 20/20 91.2 66/65 35 94
Karl Kauffmann 23 Triple-A 18/18 86.1 70/65 38 60
Jackson Cox 25 Low-A (IL) 10/9 31.0 27/25 20 32
Case Williams 26 Double-A 23/23 101.2 87/80 51 79
Helcris Olivarez 29 Triple-A (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carson Palmquist 28 Double-A 19/19 92.1 44/40 37 134
Noah Davis 29 MLB 14/14 56.0 33/29 33 48
McCade Brown 30 TBA (IL) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gavin Hollowell HM MLB 19/0 23.1 9/9 10 27
Jeff Criswell HM Triple-A 28/25 116 103/100 69 130
Riley Pint HM Triple-A 45/0 55.2 42/38 54 81

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Upcoming Schedule

Triple-A Albuquerque: 6/6-6/11 vs Sugar Land (HOU)

Double-A Hartford: 6/6-6/11 vs Somerset (NYY)

High-A Spokane: 6/6-6/11 @ Hillsboro (ARI)

Low-A Fresno: 6/6-6/11 vs Lake Elsinore (SD)

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