How the Phillies’ Signing Chase Anderson Impacts their Rotation

MLB: APR 05 Cubs at Brewers
MILWAUKEE, WI – APRIL 05: Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Chase Anderson (57) during the first game of a three game home series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs on April 5, 2019, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)
The Phillies have made another addition to their starting rotation, having signed Chase Anderson to a one-year $4 million deal.

On the same day the Phillies officially announced the Matt Moore signing, the Phillies are reportedly bringing in another starting pitcher on a major league deal. Chase Anderson, the 33-year old pitcher, is reportedly signing a one-year, $4 million major league deal with the Phillies.

Who is the Phillies’ New Pitcher?

Chase Anderson was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 9th round of the 2009 MLB draft. He made his debut with Arizona in 2014 and pitched two successful seasons before being traded in January 2016 to the Brewers for, ironically, Jean Segura.

Anderson pitched for Toronto last season, where he went 1-2 in seven starts with a 7.22 ERA. Previously, Anderson had pitched for a combined 3.83 ERA during his four-year stretch in Milwaukee. Given just how different his 2020 stats are from the previous years, it is safe to say the Phillies will likely get something closer to the 2016-19 version of Anderson.

How Does the Rotation Shape Up?

With both Matt Moore and Chase Anderson joining the Phillies on major-league contracts, the starting rotation will likely look like this on Opening Day:

1. Aaron Nola
2. Zack Wheeler
3. Zach Eflin
4. Matt Moore
5. Chase Anderson

Depending on how players perform during Spring Training, along with any potential injuries that arise, the rotation could obvioulsy change. Both Moore and Anderson are on the back-ends of their careers, and can hardly be looked at to be aces in 2021. If Moore and Anderson can eat innings on the back-end while giving the Phillies’ offense a chance to take the lead, they will do just fine.

The Phillies will pay Moore and Anderson a combined $7 million, and will certainly get their money’s worth for the two. Especially more than they did for Jake Arrieta’s $20 million last year. While these signings are not as flashy as Phillies fans would like, they have certainly improved the team overall.

What about Vince Velasquez?

Vinny Velo will likely go to the bullpen from here. The Phillies had moved him to the bullpen back in August, where he acted as a long reliever and emergency starter for the Phillies. Velasquez will be in a good position to make any required spot starts in 2021, and could potentially rejoin the rotation when an inevitable injury occurs.

What about Spencer Howard?

The young prospect will likely begin the year in AAA Lehigh Valley for the Phillies. Howard had only started in six games at AA Reading 2019 before the end of the season. Given that the minors did not play in 2020, he was given a wartime promotion to the big leagues to keep developing. The 24-year old has only pitched at most 120 innings in any given professional season, and is likely not ready for a full season in the big leagues from an endurance perspective.

Additionally, Howard’s inexperience was on display in 2020 as he pitched for a 5.92 ERA in six games for the Phillies. The Phillies still look at Howard as a future cornerstone piece of the starting rotation, but as one that needs to develop further. The one-year contracts to Moore and Anderson will give him breathing room to grow in Lehigh before returning to Philly.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire