Dodgers LHP Anderson eyes rotation spot, championship chase
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Tyler Anderson might become a starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers — it’s why the 32-year-old left-hander’s deal was a “no-brainer” to manager Dave Roberts.
A few days into his $8 million, one-year contract, the veteran has a different opportunity in mind.
“It’s a chance to win,” he said Sunday at Dodgers camp. “It’s a chance to be part of something special. ... Look around. There’s a lot of history in these uniforms.”
Anderson hasn’t pitched much in the postseason. His resume includes seven innings spanning two outings with the Colorado Rockies in 2017 and ’18.
The Dodgers enter the 2022 season with soaring expectations, especially after signing five-time All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman to a $162 million, six-year deal. Anderson signed a day later.
Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias are projected to lead Los Angeles’ rotation. There’s uncertainty about who will fill out the five-man rotation, and Anderson is a possibility along with Andrew Heaney, Tony Gonsolin and David Price.
“We talked a little bit about it, but not much.” Anderson said. “I just want to go to work and do whatever I have to.”
Anderson started 31 games last year for Pittsburgh and Seattle.
Anderson’s experience as a starter includes 2021, a season split between Pittsburgh and Seattle. He started 31 times, a number that matches his new Dodgers jersey number. Roberts likes that Anderson is familiar in the role.
“He is a starter,” Roberts said.
An abbreviated spring training schedule due to baseball’s lockout limits the work that pitchers can do. Roberts said no team can be sure of their pitching when the season begins in early April.
“The pitching, we’re going to take it day by day, and not push those guys,” Roberts said. “Industry-wide, there might be a couple outliers, where a guy is built up and ready to go five innings.
“But across the board, I don’t know. it’s going to be a job by committee-type-of thing. Three to four innings are going to be more common, certainly for us, and across baseball.”
Left-hander Danny Duffy, who re-signed with the Dodgers on Thursday, said he doesn’t expect to be ready to pitch until late June or early July. Duffy, a former starter with the Kansas City Royals, is recovering from surgery for a tendon injury
“This year, I’m going to be pitching from the bullpen,” Duffy said. “A year from now, maybe we can go back and look at starting.’’
NOTES: Roberts says Freeman might make his spring training debut in a Dodgers uniform Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds at Camelback Ranch. He expects Mookie Betts to make his first appearance on Tuesday or Wednesday. The Dodgers play the Cleveland Guardians Wednesday, also at Camelback Ranch.
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