Of the multiple storylines encompassing the Los Angeles Dodgers in Spring Training, Brett Anderson is one of the more intriguing ones. Coming off a season in which he made just eight starts, Anderson signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers.
According to executives polled by ESPN, the Dodgers signing of Anderson was ranked one of the worst moves this past offseason. That feeling doesn’t apply to the Dodgers however, as general manager Farhan Zaidi said he’s confident the left-hander will have a clean bill of health with Los Angeles.
Anderson underwent surgery last August to repair a herniated disk in his back and according to ESPN’s Mark Saxon, has already completed multiple bullpen sessions:
Brett Anderson, coming off back surgery, said he has thrown off a mound 4-5 times, is under few restrictions
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) February 19, 2015
In a break from some of the monotony that’s come with questions regarding his inability to remain healthy, Anderson also touched on the type of batter he is, via Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Brett Anderson on hitting: "I'm an extra-base guy. I got 2 hits last year and they were both doubles."
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) February 19, 2015
In his rookie season with the Oakland Athletics in 2009, Anderson made 30 starts, but has failed to make more than 19 in five seasons since that point. Along with the back issue, Anderson’s list of injuries include a broken thumb suffered in the batters’ box and Tommy John surgery; or as he put it in January, ‘fluky’ injuries.
While a back injury is certainly reason to pause, the 27 year old rehabbed with the same trainer who helped Randy Johnson recover from an identical procedure. Signing Anderson comes with risk for the Dodgers given his inability to remain healthy, but they could just as well catch lightening in a bottle.
A second-round pick in the 2006 draft, Anderson certainly has the talent to serve as a viable fifth starter for the Dodgers if he manages to avoid the disabled list. Additionally, by remaining healthy in 2015, he can earn up to $4 million in performance-based incentives.
Vin Scully Addresses The Crowd At Dodgers FanFest