Colorado Rockies: A potential issue for Tyler Anderson entering 2019?

MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 01: Tyler Anderson #44 of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch in the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Stadium on March 01, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
MESA, ARIZONA - MARCH 01: Tyler Anderson #44 of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch in the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Stadium on March 01, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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In the past two seasons, there was one main issue that that Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson had and this spring training, he is having that issue yet again.

In his first 20+ start season in his major league career in 2018, Colorado Rockies starter Tyler Anderson had one big problem: he allowed a ton of home runs.

In fact, he allowed 30 home runs in 32 starts (176 innings), which was high enough to lead the National League (6th in the major leagues, as Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy allowed 42 to lead baseball, which is 8 shy of the all-time record of 50 set in 1986 by future Hall-of-Famer Bert Blyleven).

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In 2017, in only 17 appearances (15 starts), he allowed 16 home runs. If he kept that pace and was healthy for the entire 162 game schedule, he would have allowed 34 home runs. That would have been good enough to be second in the NL, only to John Lackey, then of the Cubs.

Thus far in Spring Training, Anderson has faced this issue again. Entering Friday, Anderson has allowed three home runs in 14 innings (4 appearances, 2 starts). If he kept that pace for 176 innings, which is what he pitched in 2018, that would be just be shy of 38 homers.

He pitched on Wednesday and he allowed 2 of those home runs in six innings of work as he allowed five runs in a no-decision against Kansas City. If you check out the pitch locations on each of the pitches that were hit for home runs, the first pitch was, admittedly, not a bad pitch, as it was an 89 MPH fastball in the lower third of the zone but down the middle horizontally. The second homer, however, was an 80 MPH hanging changeup that was dead center in the zone.

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Obviously, it is a very small sample size and it is Spring Training, but as shown by his stats for the past two seasons, it is a problem for Anderson and something that he and the Rockies coaches (Bud Black, pitching coach Steve Foster, and bullpen Darren Holmes) obviously have to work on. And, as we all know, Coors Field will not be giving Anderson any favors.

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