The second time around for Brett Anderson in Los Angeles was a rough season, essentially washed out by injury.
What went right
On Sept. 29 in San Diego, Anderson made his first relief appearance in three seasons, and with 2⅓ scoreless frames had the longest scoreless relief outing of his career.
Anderson, who was fully healthy and set career highs in starts and innings in 2015, decided against joining a crowded pitching free agent market last winter, instead accepting the qualifying offer of one year, $15.8 million to return to the Dodgers.
While it didn’t work out on the field, at least it produced this humorous exchange:
Still trying to figure out what the players get out of the QO system. https://t.co/sHc4v9NoRa— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) October 13, 2016
@craigcalcaterra sheepishly raises hand...— Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson35) October 13, 2016
What went wrong
Anderson hurt his back during spring training, and had surgery to repair a bulging disc in his back in early March. It was the same disc that required surgery in August 2014.
Though Anderson throughout his career has been injury prone, averaging just 64 innings from 2010-2014 sandwiched between his two 30-start seasons, the Dodgers front office had no regrets in the risk of extending him the qualifying offer, which Anderson accepted.
"Going through the diagnosis yesterday, we were told the chances of recurrence of something like this was relatively low, around 10 percent of the time," general manager Farhan Zaidi said at the time. "It was a case of bad luck."
Anderson didn’t pitch for the Dodgers until Aug. 14, their 117th game of the season, but the back injury wasn’t his only setback in 2016. His three starts were rough, to put it mildly:
- Aug. 14: Anderson allowed five runs, including two home runs, and left after just one inning with a mild left wrist sprain.
- Aug. 20: Anderson allowed six runs and nine hits in three innings, leaving early this time with a blister on his left hand.
- Sep. 22: After missing a month, Anderson lasted five innings against the Rockies, his longest outing of the year, but still allowed four runs.
All in all, even with his scoreless relief outing, Anderson put up an 11.91 ERA in 11⅓ innings, the sixth-worst ERA in Dodgers history among pitchers with at least 10 innings in a single season.
Stats: 11.91 ERA, 7.91 FIP in 4 games (3 starts), 5 K, 4 BB, 11⅓ IP, -0.8 rWAR, -0.3 fWAR
Salary: $15.8 million
Game of the year
This has to be the 2⅓ scoreless innings in San Diego, but even in that game Anderson allowed five hits. It was that kind of year for him.
Anderson is a free agent.