Early yesterday, it was announced that Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson was going to undergo back surgery that would likely keep him out of action anywhere from three to five months. It’s not a major blow to the rotation, but it is a blow nonetheless since he was quite good last season.
Anderson went 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA in 180.1 innings last season. He also whiffed 116 batters, and finished with a 3.94 FIP. That FIP ranked 46th in baseball last season among qualified starting pitchers, of which there were 78. He was a reliable guy on the mound, and now he must be replaced.
From Houston Mitchell, contact reporter at the Los Angeles Times, on who could replace Anderson:
With Anderson out, it pretty much opens up the No. 4 spot in the rotation for Alex Wood, and the No. 5 spot will come down to Mike Bolsinger, Brandon Beachy and Carlos Frias. Long shots are Ross Stripling and Jose De Leon. Whoever pitches best among the first three on the list in spring training will get the job.
Mitchell brings up a great point here right off the bat. This does seem to make it where Alex Wood is now the pitcher slated into the number four spot in the rotation, which means the fifth spot is now open for competition. And the guys that could compete for that spot have their own issues.
Beachy hasn’t been good for a while, Frias isn’t sure if he’s a starter or a reliever, and Stripling and De Leon have never pitched in the big leagues. But then there’s Mike Bolsinger. Last year, he went 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 109.1 innings while striking out 98. He actually finished with a 3.91 FIP, a slightly better mark than Anderson’s.
It seems like Bolsinger has the fifth spot in the rotation if he wants it. Of course, he’ll have to perform for it. The first three spots are sewn up thanks to Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, and Kenta Maeda. The fourth spot seems like Wood’s. Only the fifth spot remains. As an aside, don’t forget dark horse candidate Zach Lee. He could nab it.