As the A's continue their search for starting pitching, they believe they might have found an under-the-radar option in a recent trade.
Oakland acquired 25-year-old right-hander Tanner Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates last month in exchange for 18-year-old righty Wilkin Ramos.
Anderson spent most of last season in Triple-A, where he went 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA and six saves in 39 relief appearances. In six major league games, he was 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA.
Until last year, however, Anderson was a starting pitcher. In 2017, he made 19 starts in Double-A, going 10-8 with a 3.38 ERA. The A's would like him to be a starter again.
"I told him to get ready as a starter," A’s general manager David Forst said. "I'd like to think he could do that. If not, he's a guy who can go two, three, four innings at a time. He said he sees himself as a guy who can turn the lineup over more than once, so that could prove to be valuable."
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If nothing else, we know Anderson is smart. He graduated from Harvard in 2015, and was selected by Pittsburgh in the 20th round of the MLB draft.
Anderson is not a strikeout pitcher, but he does induce a high percentage of ground balls, with almost three times as many grounders as fly balls throughout his career. He features a low-to-mid-90s sinker as well as a mid-80s slider and does a great job limiting walks.
Even if Anderson doesn't earn a spot in Oakland's starting rotation, he could be a perfect candidate to pitch multiple innings in "opener" games. The A's love his versatility and, at the very least, he could provide a backup plan for the rotation in the case of injuries.