The Los Angeles Angels and general manager Perry Minasian sought out a veteran starter in the offseason, pursuing and ultimately signing left-hander Tyler Anderson to join their staff after a career year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With a lifetime 4.62 ERA prior to joining the Dodgers, Anderson flipped his entire career on a dime. In 28 starts he posted a 2.57 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and a 15-5 record, making his first-ever All-Star Game appearance.
Minasian inked Anderson to a three-year $39 million contract, which could be one of two things, a bargain for a starter coming off that level of production, or a gamble because of his one season with the Dodgers and their pitching laboratory.
But through four outings with the Angels, they’ve seen much of his old self, and worse, as he’s posted a 7.20 ERA without showing a lot of the upside of last year, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“I just feel like I don’t have a good feel for my mechanics right now,” Anderson said on Sunday, a day after he gave up six runs in four innings to the Boston Red Sox. “The nice thing is, you know when it clicks it can just feel right. I’ve just had a hard time finding that feel. When that happens, you’re out there trying to compete but without really knowing where the ball is going to go.”
Anderson’s metrics in 2022 were some of the best in Major League Baseball, but in terms of expected batting average, slugging percentage, barrel percentage, chase rate, and walk rate—they have all taken massive steps backward.
Perhaps it’s a change in the baseball, situational usage, or another slight difference, Anderson is correct in that not much is different from a pitch characteristic standpoint, he just isn’t possessing a great feel at the moment.
The Angels need him to be an anchor behind their ace Shohei Ohtani, but through three starts, Anderson has a lot of improvement that needs to be made in order to regain his 2022 All-Star form.
Angels starter Shohei Ohtani wants to cut out the walks
In the final year of his current contract, Ohtani has more incentive to perform as he approaches a record-breaking free-agent deal as the unicorn of Major League Baseball. He seems to have taken another step forward on the mound with a 1.85 ERA.
However, his 16% walk rate is a huge spike against his career average.
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