DENVER — Even though Chase Anderson’s time with the Tampa Bay Rays was extremely short, the veteran right-hander was very complimentary of the team as he began his tenure as a member of the Colorado Rockies rotation.
Now with Colorado Rockies, Chase Anderson tips his cap to Tampa Bay Rays
It has already been a whirlwind of a season for the 35-year-old, who joins the Rockies as the seventh MLB team he will pitch for since making his big league debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 11, 2014. Anderson was purchased by the Rays on May 3 after signing as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds in mid-February. In two outings for Tampa Bay, Anderson threw a combined 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out two and walking one. However, when the Rays signed reliever Jake Diekman to a deal, the club designated Anderson for assignment.
With the Rockies needing starting pitching after losing three of the five original members of their Opening Day rotation to injuries and ineffectiveness, plus Antonio Senzatela, who had just rejoined the team after coming back from an ACL injury, Anderson was grabbed off the waiver wire and inserted into the Colorado rotation. In a full circle moment of the 2023 season, he will get his first start on Tuesday night at Coors Field against the Reds.
Anderson will take the mound in Denver using some of the lessons he picked up from Tampa Bay.
“I think with Tampa, that organization is really good at finding out your strengths pretty quickly and really simplifying the approach,” Anderson said. “I think that’s helped me mentally to know what pitches to go to when I’m on the mound when I need to.
“I spent some time with them (Rays) last year in Triple-A at Durham in August and then the short stint in the big leagues this year. I have nothing but good things to say about Tampa. They’ve helped me out a lot on the pitching side.”
While it was a small sample size, Anderson threw his cutter in 30.6 percent of his pitches while with the Rays, a big growth from his previous career high of 20.1 percent. His changeup percentage also dropped, from 28.4 percent in 2022 to 22.2 percent in 2023.
Anderson has started six games in his career at Coors Field, posting a 7.67 ERA and giving up five homers in 29.1 innings. Those numbers will have to change for Anderson to help the Rockies win their third consecutive game on Tuesday night.