Pirates’ Anderson embracing fresh start
Left-hander looks to add stability to team’s pitching staff
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tyler Anderson knows about team building.
The left-hander entered Spring Valley High in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a freshman when the school opened in 2004. He helped Oregon kick-start its fledging program when the Ducks returned to the Division I level in 2009 following 27 years as a club sport.
Getting in on the ground floor is kind of his thing. No wonder he’s not exactly concerned about joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in the nascent stages of a franchise-wide makeover. The 31-year-old finalized a one-year deal worth $2.5 million on Wednesday, becoming part of the present for a club that is very clearly pointing toward the future. That’s fine by Anderson.
“I know the culture over here they want to create is a winning culture,” Anderson said. “And I don’t think that had any involvement in them signing me, but for me, I love the idea because I’ve been through it a few times and it’s just fun. It’s a lot of guys that are searching for something, and it’s really easy to create an identity together.”
Anderson is coming off a 4-3 season in San Francisco after spending his first four years in the majors in Colorado. He pitched in a respectable 59 2/3 innings in 13 games (11 starts) for the Giants and the ability to be a potential workhorse for a staff in the process of replacing four starters wasn’t lost on manager Derek Shelton.
“We’re looking for stability,” Shelton said. “We did some research on the person and came back with really positive stuff. I had the opportunity to talk to him at length today so it’s nice to add him to the mix.”
A mix that finds itself in a very transitional phase after Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams, Chris Archer and Joe Musgrove all left in some fashion or another during the offseason. Mitch Keller, 24 and with all of 16 career starts under his belt, is the closest thing the Pirates have to a top-end starter. Enter Anderson, who doesn’t see the inexperience surrounding him as a negative.
“The guys here are young, but I watched four or five pens today while I was out there, and there’s some young guys, but they’re nasty,” Anderson said. “There’s a lot of talent, too. So obviously I haven’t seen a lot of guys pitch in games yet, but a lot of these guys I think are really talented, and it’s fun to watch.”