Indians call on Anderson for Sunday's start
Right-hander to make Major League Debut against the Rays
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have cycled through a variety of arms in search of stability for the fifth spot in their rotation. Cleveland's latest attempt to shore up the staff will be to promote pitching prospect Cody Anderson from Triple-A for his Major League debut.
On Friday, Indians manager Terry Francona announced that Anderson -- the club's 17th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com -- is slated to be officially recalled prior to Sunday's game against Tampa Bay for his first start in the big leagues. Francona added that the 24-year-old Anderson will likely make at least a couple of starts for the Tribe.
"He worked so hard over the winter," Francona said. "He's a big strong kid. He didn't have a lot of flexibility. And, because of that, it was kind of hard for him to drive the ball down in the zone. He worked so hard at it at the strength and conditioning camp that, now all of a sudden, he's throwing the ball downhill.
"He's got a little two-seamer to go with it. So now, with all that strength and velocity, he's working down and he's having a lot of success."
Between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season, Anderson has posted a 1.87 ERA with 53 strikeouts against 14 walks in 67 1/3 innings (12 starts). The 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-hander turned in a 2.33 ERA in his three starts with Columbus, striking out 18 and walking five in 19 1/3 innings.
Anderson won Cleveland's Bob Feller Award in 2013, honoring him as the organization's Minor League pitcher of the year after he went 9-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 26 starts between high-Class A and Double-A that season. Anderson took a step back in '14, when he went 4-11 with a 5.44 ERA in 25 starts for Akron.
"I just think he tried too hard," Francona said. "By his own admission, I think he felt like he was starting to maybe be on the radar and just tried to be a little better than he was ready to be."
Francona noted that Anderson was scheduled to join the Indians on Saturday before being officially recalled from Triple-A on Sunday.