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.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.