Just one month into his run with the Chicago Cubs, Brett Anderson is on the disabled list. How short is his leash when he makes it back from injury?
When Brett Anderson signed with the Chicago Cubs, they weren’t expecting a world beater. A reliable, inning-eating fifth starter was what they were looking for, but so far the left-hander has been anything but.
In six starts, Anderson has been horrid. He pitched 22 innings in those starts, an average of less than four innings. In his last two starts he pitched 1 2/3 innings with – brace yourselves – 12 earned runs, an 81.00 ERA and a 10.50 WHIP.
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To make matters worse, Anderson had to leave his last start with lower back tightness. He’s struggled to stay healthy in his big league career, and he’s headed to the 10-day disabled list.
After his last start he took to Twitter to acknowledge that he’s embarrassed by his performance thus far.
However the Cubs may not wait until he gets healthy or pitches better. Even before those two ugly starts he’s been shaky, and with his incentive-laden deal it wouldn’t be a problem to just cut ties with him the moment Joe Maddon and co. have seen enough.
Is it time to go a different direction?
So how many more opportunities will Anderson get? The Cubs have a number of options they can plug in to his fifth starter role, including Mike Montgomery, Eddie Butler and Alec Mills. Of course, Monty was a finalist for the starter’s job until late this spring.
Of course the Cubs could go with a four-man rotation for the time being, but with the amount of mileage the staff went through last season perhaps that wouldn’t be a good idea.
If the Cubs decide to add any one of those aforementioned pitchers to the rotation and they perform well (or really just enough to be a viable, dependable 5th starter) then it might spell the end for Anderson’s tenure with the team.
Of course no one wants to see a guy fail. But Anderson has cost the team several games already – and has failed to even eat innings. Throw in that contract and things aren’t looking good for the 29-year-old.
Everyone knew that the Anderson signing was more of an experiment than a sure thing. It’s starting to look like the experiment’s just about over.