Why the Seattle Mariners Should NOT Sign Tyler Anderson
The Seattle Mariners started to add to their starting rotation by signing reigning A.L. Cy Young award winner Robbie Ray, but they still need to bring in one more starting pitcher to replace Tyler Anderson. Right now, the 5th starter would be the winner of a Spring Training battle between Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield, and Matt Brash, who are all unproven major league starters.
While many fans think that bringing back Tyler Anderson back would be the answer for the Mariners’ fifth rotation spot, I don’t believe he is.
Anderson was acquired by the Mariners at the trade deadline last year to fill innings, purely because the team had a big shortage on starting quality pitchers. In my opinion, Anderson doesn’t have a very high ceiling at all; at best, he will throw 6 innings and give up 2 runs or less, but that isn’t the expectation for each of his starts. While he did come over and throw a lot of strikes, he does not belong on a team wanting to make the playoffs.
Anderson only had two starts last season for the Mariners where he went at least six innings and gave up only one run or less. He did have one other start where he went 7 innings and gave up 3 runs, but otherwise he would go 4 or 5 innings and give up 2 to 4 runs. He also had a few really bad starts against the Angels down the stretch: in 3.2 innings vs the Angels over two starts, he allowed 12 earned runs, gave up 14 hits, allowed 3 walks, and had 0 strikeouts.
The Mariners gave Anderson the final start of the year on short rest to skip Yusei Kikuchi, but they didn’t get anywhere near the performance they were hoping for, as Mariners fans will remember losing that final game while Anderson only went 1.2 innings.
Tyler Anderson does not have great numbers either, and several numbers were not better when he came over from the Pirates. His ERA went up, his ERA+ went down, his FIP went up, his WHIP was up, his H/9 was up, and his K/9 was lower. All of those numbers show at least a slight regression.
Since the numbers show that Anderson is a below average starting pitcher, the Mariners should not have him be their guaranteed 5th starter. They should go in another direction to get more upside from that spot. Ideally, Seattle could trade for a number of pitchers to fill out their rotation, as there are 6 players combined on the Reds and A’s that have been rumored to be available: Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, and Frankie Montas.