Matt Anderson was a bust of a No. 1 overall pick for the Tigers in 1997, posting a 5.19 ERA in 257 career innings and throwing his last big-league pitch at age 28 despite lighting up radar guns with a high-90s (and sometimes low-100s) fastball.
He was last seen coughing up 17 runs in 10 innings for the Rockies in 2005 and hasn’t pitched anywhere since a stint in the Puerto Rican winter league several years ago, but now Anderson is making a comeback attempt with the Phillies and he’s actually starting to generate some buzz.
Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Anderson is consistently working at 94-96 miles per hour so far in camp and the 34-year-old reliever talked about the renewed focus on baseball that came after being forced out of the game before he was ready. It’s definitely an interesting comeback story and teams will always be intrigued by a mid-90s fastball, but Anderson is facing long odds to crack a Phillies pitching staff that already has plenty of depth.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.