Rockies prospect news: A setback for Tyler Anderson

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Top Colorado Rockies’ pitching prospect Tyler Anderson has suffered a setback with an elbow injury as he prepares for the start of the 2015 season.

Tyler Anderson is on the 40 man roster. He might have had a chance to earn a spot on the 25 man roster, but a setback with an injury to his pitching elbow has likely derailed those chances.

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Anderson, of course, was the team’s first round draft pick in 2011. After a stop-and-go start to his professional career, he appeared to get things on track last season. He posted a 2.08 ERA in over 112 innings pitched last season, earning the honor of Texas League pitcher of the year. With the arrow pointing up for his career, Anderson earned a spot on the 40 man roster and had a legitimate chance to crack the big league rotation.

Those plans are on hold due to a setback with Anderson’s pitching elbow. As reported by Thomas Harding of MLB.com:

"Rockies lefty pitching prospect Tyler Anderson will not be ready to pitch at the start of Spring Training in order to allow a stress fracture in his left elbow to continue healing, the club announced Thursday.But Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Thursday that Anderson’s fracture, at the tip of the elbow where the triceps connect to the bone, has shown signs of healing since season’s end."

Healing is good, but I’m going out on a limb here and saying that the words “stress fracture” are a big nasty dark cloud as Tyler Anderson prepares for Spring Training.

The Rockies certainly have a hole in the fifth spot in their starting rotation. Depending on where you think Eddie Butler or Jon Gray will be to start the season, Anderson might have had a legitimate shot at earning that spot. ZiPS is kind to Anderson, projecting him to be a 1.3 zWAR pitcher. PECOTA is less optimistic, projection Anderson to be a 0.0 replacement level pitcher.

Whichever way you tend to lean in terms of projections, you are talking about a first round talent who had a chance to bang down the door for a big league spot this season.

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Such as the situation is being presented, the Rockies are choosing to be cautious with Anderson. He is a former first round pick who is finally starting to show his upside, after all.

A medical professional I am not, but I don’t think we have heard the last about Anderson’s elbow, and I’m guessing we might see his timetable pushed back again at some point this season.

One might reasonably argue that the Rockies have the makings of a nice pitching staff with some of their pitching prospects who will be ready to arrive soon.

They won’t be ready in 2015, however, and neither will the Rockies. As much as we would all like to see Tyler Anderson on the Rockies soon, the organization is absolutely right to exercise caution in this case.

Next: Rockies' farm system no longer stinks

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