Chase Anderson, Phils finalize 1-year deal

Right-hander adds to loaded competition for starting rotation

February 8th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are stockpiling starting pitching before Spring Training opens.

The club announced Monday that it signed right-hander to a one-year, $4 million deal, five days after the Phils announced the signing of left-hander Matt Moore to a one-year, $3 million contract.

“One of our main goals this year when I came over here was to get starting pitching depth,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said last week. “We didn’t think the organization, with the young guys other than Spencer Howard -- there might be some guys coming up -- but we didn’t think we had a lot of depth behind the first four and then No. 5, with Howard. We’re looking for some individuals who can compete for our spots. As we sit here today, I don’t know if we’re going to use a six-man rotation at times. We know there are limitations on the number of innings some of our pitchers can throw, particularly a youngster like Howard. We figured we’d kind of decipher all of that.

“Who knows what our schedule will be like, whether we’ll have more doubleheaders, but we felt we really needed to protect ourselves, and we don’t have that internal perspective with a club that we felt can compete to win a division.”

Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin will be the top three starters in the Phillies’ rotation. Anderson, Moore, Howard and Vince Velasquez figure to compete for the final two jobs.

The Phillies signed Iván Nova to a Minor League contract with an invite to camp. He will compete, as well. Then there are other starters in camp like Ranger Suárez, Ramón Rosso, Adonis Medina and Damon Jones. But those first four -- Anderson, Moore, Howard and Velasquez -- are the favorites heading into camp.

Anderson, 33, went 53-40 with a 3.94 ERA in 166 appearances (160 starts) from 2014-19 with the D-backs and Brewers. He went 1-2 with a 7.22 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) last season with the Blue Jays. His fastball velocity dropped from 93.3 mph in '19 to 92.4 mph in '20, but he still had the best strikeout rate (27.4) and second-best walk rate (6.5 percent) of his career. That said, he struggled as batters barreled more balls against him than at any point in his career. His barrel percentage (16.2) was the highest in baseball (minimum 100 balls put in play).

It is likely the Phillies are hoping to find something in Anderson’s career highs last season in swing-and-miss percentage (28.3), strikeout rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.8). At the very least, they know they are stepping up the competition this spring.