In the least surprising news in recent memory, Chase Anderson will be getting the ball on Opening Day for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Crew opens the season against the San Diego Padres on March 29.
Though it was the obvious choice for the Milwaukee Brewers to make, it is a nice honor for Anderson. Not to mention that he more than earned it with his performance last season. Since coming to the team, the righty has looked pretty good.
Anderson was part of the package that came over in the Jean Segura deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. During his time in Arizona, and early in Milwaukee, he was giving over one homer per nine innings on average with FIPs above four. However, in 2017 his FIP fell to 3.58, with a significantly lower HR/9.
Opening Day Starter History
Two of the last four starters who were started game one are still in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Junior Guerra never quite recovered from his injury, and is trying to work his way back. And, of course, with the resigning of Yovani Gallardo, he represents the other. He is transitioning into a bullpen role.
Gallardo is also the last pitcher to get a win on Opening Day back in 2014. He threw six shutout innings, and the Crew ended up beating the Atlanta Braves 2-0. Since then, Kyle Loshe, Wily Peralta, and Guerra have all run out there for a loss. Though Guerra did not receive the decision.
Anderson and 2018
Though game one and ultimately the season did not go well for previous three Opening Day arms, that is unlikely to happen for Anderson. The 30 year old averaged the highest velocity on his fastball last season by nearly two MPH. He also used it a lot less than in previous years, relying on movement and location of his offspeed pitches.
It will not be easy for him to replicate last season, but he should be productive for the Milwaukee Brewers this year. Even if he regresses as many believe he will, he will still perform. None of the projections are being too kind to him, but then again they weren’t last year either. If Anderson can continue to effectively use his cutter and offspeed, he will do fine.
He is not the ace that the Brewers staff needs. But he will hold the spot until that arm arrives. Whether it be an internal option, or someone coming in from another team, Milwaukee will get their ace and Anderson will slide into a number two role, where he will thrive.