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2015 Dodgers review: Brett Anderson, Mr. Reliable

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Anderson overcame his injury history and bet on himself with a one-year deal his first turn through free agency. The best could pay off big for Anderson, who should be able to secure a multi-year contract after being a picture of health for the Dodgers in 2015.

What went right

After averaging just 52 innings per season from 2011-2014, Anderson was very dependable and healthy in 2015, putting up career highs in starts (31), innings pitched (180⅓), batters faced (750) and quality starts (18).

Anderson was a worm-killing machine, inducing ground balls on 66.3 percent of his balls in play, the top rate in baseball. FanGraphs has been tracking such data since 2002, and in that period Anderson's 2015 campaign is tied with Brandon Webb in 2006 for third-highest, trailing a pair of seasons by Derek Lowe - 2006 with the Dodgers (67 percent) and 2002 with the Red Sox (66.8 percent).

Even if we lower the requirement to 50 innings to include ground ball relief specialists, Anderson's 66.3-percent ground ball rate is still pretty high on the list, 27th among 4,519 pitching seasons during that span.

The left-hander was a rock through the middle of the season, putting up 14 quality starts in an 18-start span from May 20 to Aug. 26.

Anderson held opposing pitchers to just 1-for-49 with one walk and 30 strikeouts.

He had a career-high six pickoffs in 2015, second in the National League to Clayton Kershaw (nine).

At the plate Anderson was just 4-for-47 (.085) with a double, but he also walked five times, tied with Dan Haren and Jonathon Niese for most walks among pitchers. One more walk than the entire Marlins pitching staff had as a whole.

Anderson scored his first major league run on Oct. 1 in San Francisco, scoring from second base on a single to left field by Adrian Gonzalez.

What went wrong

Despite his ground ball tendencies, Anderson also led the Dodgers with 18 home runs allowed.

Anderson led the majors with 49 infield hits allowed, 13 more than any other pitcher in the majors.

After a 3.17 ERA and 3.63 FIP in 18 starts before the All-Star break, Anderson put up a 4.48 ERA and 4.42 FIP in 13 starts afterward, with half of his home runs allowed in those 13 starts.

In his one playoff start, Anderson allowed six runs on seven hits in three innings in a 13-7 Dodgers loss to the Mets in Game 3 of the NLDS at Citi Field.

2015 particulars

Age: 27

Stats: 10-9, 3.69 ERA, 31 starts, 180⅓ innings, 116 K, 46 BB, 3.94 FIP, 1.5 rWAR, 1.7 fWAR

Salary: $12.4 million, including a $10 million base salary plus $2.4 million of a possible $4 million in performance bonuses based on inning pitched.

Game of the year

Anderson struck out a season-high 10 in a win on June 26 in Miami, allowing one run in seven innings. He also had an RBI single in the 7-1 Dodgers victory.

Roster status

Anderson is the most intriguing of Dodgers free agents in the choice of whether to make him a qualifying offer. On one hand, no player yet has accepted the qualifying offer so it would be a way to secure a draft pick should Anderson sign elsewhere. The risk is that he accepts, but having him back for one year and $15.8 million isn't the worst thing in the world.

We'll find out next week, on the fifth day after the World Series ends, but I think Anderson will in fact receive a qualifying offer from the Dodgers.