680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – As the Braves attempt to solve the biggest question mark this season surrounding the starting rotation, Brian Snitker hinted on Friday that another young arm could soon be on the move. Ian Anderson, the 22 year old former first round pick out of Shenendehowa High in New York has been pitching extremely well at the club’s remote training site in Gwinnett. So, could another to prospect soon be on the move to Atlanta?
In 21 starts at Double-A Mississippi last season, Anderson posted a 2.68 ERA with 147 strikeouts over 111 innings pitched. Anderson made the jump to Triple-A Gwinnett and his numbers dipped quite a bit, to the tune of a 6.57 ERA in just five starts. Walks were an issue for Anderson at the next level as he issued 18 free passes in 24.2 innings worth of work. But, GM Alex Anthopoulos has made a number of trips up to Duluth to keep an eye on some of the younger prospects as they take part in intrasquad scrimmages, and Anderson has stood out to everyone who’s watched him. So that begs the question, could we see the 22 year old in a Big League uniform this summer?
“Ian’s throwing real well, he had another really good outing yesterday. I kind of came into this year thinking we’d probably see Ian Anderson at some point this year.” Brian Snitker said earlier today. “I think there’s still a good chance we’re going to see him” the Braves skipper added. The fact that he didn’t mince words goes to show that Anderson is likely much closer to the Big League level that most folks thought, even as recently as a few weeks ago during Summer Camp.
Think about all that’s gone wrong for this rotation over the last few months. Soroka blew his Achilles, Hamels triceps have been an issue, Folty’s velo dropped drastically, Newcomb couldn’t throw strikes with a big lead and King Felix opted out. Outside of Max Fried, the rotation has four giant question marks on those days hes’ not on the mound. So, why not give the youngster Anderson a shot? It’s a short season, so every game becomes more and more crucial. But, getting a shot at the highest level will pay dividends for Anderson down the road. And who knows, maybe he comes up and has an immediate impact like Mike Soroka did a couple years back? Only time will tell, but based on what Snit said on Friday, that could be as soon as the middle of next week. Stay tuned!
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.