In the land of I Want It Now, for some godforsaken reason we’re born to grade things the moment they happen. For sports, this is especially true with trades.
Nearly one year ago on July 26, 2017, the Giants received right-handed pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos from the Red Sox in exchange for infielder Eduardo Nunez. And on Thursday night, Anderson made his Triple-A debut for the Sacramento River Cats.
Anderson tossed five innings for the River Cats in Fresno in what would be an 8-7 loss in 10 innings to the Grizzlies. The 23-year-old allowed two runs — both on a two-run home run in his final inning of work — four hits, three walks, and impressively struck out six batters.
Throughout his first outing in Triple-A, Anderson never ran into trouble. Only one batter reached second base, besides the home run, and that was due to a walk in the bottom of the first inning. A walk hurt him again in the fifth inning as he let the leadoff batter reach base on four balls before Antonio Nunez, the No. 9 hitter, followed with his two-run shot.
On the year, Anderson now has 99 strikeouts to 25 walks in 99 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. His 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings are up from 7.8 last season and his 2.3 walks per nine innings are slightly down from 2.4 in 2017. The long ball has hurt Anderson this season as he has already allowed 10 home runs this season to nine all of last year.
Following Anderson in the River Cats’ loss were four pitchers who have all found time with the Giants this season. They didn’t fare as well as the prospect.
Former top pick Tyler Beede relieved Anderson in the sixth inning, but his control issues hurt him again with two walks and only one out recorded. Pierce Johnson followed Beede and walked two without allowing a run. He also struck out five batters in 1 2/3 innings. The night to forget came for lefty Josh Osich. Up 6-3, Osich blew allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and now has a 5.40 ERA. Derek Law took the loss, going 1 2/3 innings before Fresno walked it off in extra innings.
In 11 days, Anderson went from pitching in Richmond for the Flying Squirrels, to Washington D.C. for the USA All-Stars in the All-Star Futures Game, to Fresno for the River Cats. Keep your grades and enjoy the summer. What matters is Anderson’s weaving road of six different teams in two years, including representing the USA, has him right on track for San Francisco.