Tyler Anderson is expected to make his third start of the season on Friday night when the Colorado Rockies continue their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field.
Anderson, Colorado’s first-round pick in 2011 out of the University of Oregon, made his MLB debut against the San Diego Padres on June 12 after waiting longer than expected to take the mound at Coors Field. He’s battled a number of injuries in his short career, including elbow pain from a stress fracture that caused him to miss the entire 2015 season.
Anderson said that the string of injuries he endured made him even more eager to help the Rockies.
“In terms of pitching, it didn’t me change much,” Anderson said of the injuries. “Not that I wasn’t hungry before, but it really gave me that sense of urgency and you want to play and play now. Seeing the struggles we went through made me want to be there even more.”
Now that’s he finally arrived in the Colorado clubhouse, Anderson is making the most of it, sporting a 2.25 ERA and 0.92 WHIP while looking for his first career win. He’s thrown 90-plus pitches in each of his first two starts and has a 10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12 innings.
“It’s been a blast. It’s been fun. We’ve been playing pretty good baseball so it’s fun to be a part of that,” Anderson smiled.
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Anderson’s much-anticipated debut came in Denver … and it brought along a few extra things that Anderson had to focus on besides just making his first start.
“I would say there were a little less distractions in Miami (for his second start) because I didn’t have huge family there, which is a great distraction,” Anderson said. “It was a wonderful time and I was glad they were there (for the first start). In Miami, it was a chance to get more settled into my routine. I’m starting to get more into my routine, which is nice.”
Colorado catcher Tony Wolters has liked what he’s seen from Anderson so far.
“I think he works really hard. When you come into this team, there are a lot of people you can look to and learn from. He’s a competitor. He wants to win. That’s all we ask for on the team,” Wolters said. “Now he just has to go learn all of these guys and how they hit. I believe he’ll learn them quickly.
“I’m very impressed with his work ethic and the way he goes about his business. He’s a professional.”
Anderson said he hasn’t felt the pressure to perform at a certain level, before he was called up as well as now that he’s with the Rockies.
“As long as you don’t pay attention and read too much stuff, you don’t notice any pressure,” Anderson explained. “You don’t feel it. It’s not like your teammates are saying, ‘Oh, you need to get to the big leagues.’ Be where your feet are. If you can do that, you can avoid pressure.”
Finally healthy, Tyler Anderson is just enjoying the moment and working to get better in his craft.
“It’s great. It’s like getting the gorilla off your back,” Anderson said of being injury-free. “You can just go play, have fun, and not worry about that. That’s really the ultimate goal.”
And what plans does he have to keep improving?
“Just keep pitching,” he said. “It’s been a while so the more that you do it, hopefully the better you get at it. Keep pitching, work on executing, and throwing strikes.”