Two months ago Brian Anderson made the transition from outfielder to pitcher after the 28-year-old former first-round pick hit just .227 in 355 career games. He first headed down to rookie-ball, quickly moved up to Single-A, and then finished the year with a stint at Triple-A, combining to throw 17.1 innings with a 2.08 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio while allowing just 10 hits and zero homers.
Anderson probably would have spent at least part of the second half in the majors had he remained an outfielder, but explained to Daniel Paulling of the Kansas City Star that he simply not longer enjoyed being a position player:
I grew up as a pitcher. I was always a pitcher. Hitting was always secondary to me. I went to [college] more as a pitcher. I was given an opportunity to play center, and I went eight for my first 10 and never looked back. It’s not about being in the big leagues. I should never dread going to the baseball field, and I kind of was just not excited as I should be. At some point, you have to say screw it and do what makes you happy.
Anderson is on the 40-man roster and making $700,000 this season, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Royals continue to protect him this offseason. The early results are certainly encouraging and it sounds like he has legitimate raw stuff, including a fastball that can reach the mid-90s.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.
The Game: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs NLCS Game 6
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Wrigley Field, Chicago
The Channel: FS1
The Starters: Kyle Hendricks (Cubs) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
We’re pulling out the big guns for this one. The Cubs took Los Angeles by storm again in Game 5, closing out their road trip with an eight-run spread over the Dodgers, and tonight they’ll try to clinch the NLCS on home turf in Game 6.
Pitching-wise, it’s a rematch of Game 2 with Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) on the mound. Kershaw took the first set against the Cubs, going seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts in Game 2 while Hendricks held the Dodgers to a single run over 5 1/3 innings. Adrian Gonzalez was the only Dodger to capitalize on Hendricks’ cutter, going yard in his first at-bat to generate a 1-0 lead.
The Cubs’ biggest strength so far this series has been an electric offense, something the Dodgers have struggled to replicate against left-hander Jon Lester and Joe Maddon’s airtight bullpen. While they’ve already beaten Hendricks at Wrigley Field once this October, they’ll need Kershaw to go the distance in another playoff gem if they intend to keep the Cubs’ championship hopes at bay with a 3.4-run average. Should Kershaw and his crew knot the series again, the tiebreaker will fall to Rich Hill and Jake Arrieta in Game 7.