Three years ago, Tyler Anderson was suffering through the worst season of his career. He was part of a young, promising rotation that had led the Colorado Rockies to the playoffs in consecutive years.
Then it all went bad for Anderson in 2019. He started just five games, was 0-3 with an 11.76 ERA, and was optioned to Triple-A. Knee surgery ended his season in June, and his career going forward was uncertain.
After two seasons of bouncing around the majors, Anderson, a 32-year-old left-hander, has found a home with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In fact, he’s thriving.
Anderson (8-0, 3.00 ERA) has helped solidify a Dodgers rotation that has been hit by injuries, and he will go for his ninth win of the season when the Dodgers open a three-game series at the Colorado Rockies in Denver on Monday night.
Los Angeles has won six of its past eight after rallying to beat Atlanta 5-3 in 11 innings on Sunday night.
The Rockies will counter on Monday with right-hander Chad Kuhl (4-5, 3.95).
Anderson signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Dodgers, a deal that is looking like a bargain. He has been outstanding of late, taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Angels on June 15 before giving up a one-out triple.
Anderson’s best pitch is the changeup and he has modified it slightly since joining the Dodgers, and it has resurrected his career.
“I feel like they never write anything off here,” Anderson said this week. “Some teams, if you try stuff, they don’t really like trying new things. Whereas they’re not afraid to try new things here — and they also know how to weed out things that don’t work.”
Anderson will face his former team for the fourth time in his career. In his three previous appearances — two of them starts — he went 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA.
Kuhl is slated to face the Dodgers for the first time since 2017, when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In four career starts against L.A., he is 2-2 with a 4.95 ERA.
Kuhl has been a solid addition to the Colorado rotation despite dropping his past three decisions, the most recent coming Wednesday at Miami. He allowed four runs in five innings, but manager Bud Black said he was happy with how Kuhl adjusted during the start.
“In games, there’s poise,” Black said. “You can talk strategy, you can talk mechanics, you can talk pitch selection in a very poised and professional manner.”
Kuhl has plenty of experience grinding through games and overcoming bad innings. He has relied on that in his first season with the Rockies.
“That’s just from throwing more and getting older and learning that inning isn’t everything,” he said after his last start. You have to keep going no matter how embarrassing or bad or ugly it looked.”
Kuhl will try to turn around Colorado’s tough stretch. The Rockies swept the San Diego Padres at home last weekend but then were swept at Miami and dropped two of three games at Minnesota, including 6-3 on Sunday.
Colorado’s offense is struggling after scoring just four runs in the three games against the Twins and only six runs in the past four games.
“Right now, it’s difficult, but the worm will turn,” Black said.
–Field Level Media