The Diamondbacks acquired first baseman Lars Anderson from the Indians in December as part of the three-team Trevor Bauer trade, but his stint with the club didn’t last long. After being designated for assignment last week following the Justin Upton deal, Anderson has been claimed off waivers by the White Sox.
Once a top prospect with the Red Sox, Anderson has seen his stock fade in recent years. The 25-year-old batted .250/.353/.396 with nine home runs, 59 RBI and a .750 OPS in 111 games at the Triple-A level last season and is 8-for-48 (.167) over 30 games in the majors. He was traded to the Indians last July in the deal that sent knuckleballer Steven Wright to Boston.
While the Diamondbacks now only have Didi Gregorius and Tony Sipp to show for trading Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers, Anderson could claim a spot on Chicago’s Opening Day roster as a backup first baseman/outfielder and left-handed bat off the bench.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.