Signed to a one-year contract to be a fifth man in a starting rotation that featured a three-headed monster in Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and a fourth starter in Brandon McCarthy who had an encouraging finish to the 2014 season, Brett Anderson’s value to the Los Angeles Dodgers quickly increased.
McCarthy and Ryu were lost to season-ending surgeries by mid-May, which suddenly elevated Anderson to the club’s third starter. Given his injury-plagued career, there naturally were concerns regarding Anderson’s ability to remain healthy.
With the regular season winding down, Anderson has been dependable in a rotation that has been in flux outside of him and Greinke and Kershaw. Anderson’s contributions haven’t gone unnoticed by A.J. Ellis who believes a case could be made for the left-hander being MVP of the pitching staff, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
He’s been as big a part of this ball club as anybody,” Ellis said of Anderson. “Zack and Clayton have been amazing, and one could probably win Cy Young and one could win MVP and no one could complain, but Brett might be the MVP of our pitching staff, just the way that he’s been able to battle and make his turn in the rotation each time.”
Aside from the cramp that forced Anderson to be removed in the sixth inning on Sunday, he also endured an injury scare when a sore Achilles forced him to be removed from a July 21 outing against the Atlanta Braves.
Sunday’s start was Anderson’s 27th of the season, which is the most he’s made since 2009 (his rookie year) with the Oakland Athletics. On the season Anderson is 9-8 with a 3.36 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 1.31 WHIP, and he leads the Majors with a 66.7 percent ground ball rate.