A's expect recent trade acquisition Tanner Anderson to help rotation

Ben Ross
NBC Sports BayArea
Right-handed pitcher Tanner Anderson spent 2018 as a reliever. But the A's believe he can revert back to a starting pitcher and be effective in the role.

A's expect recent trade acquisition Tanner Anderson to help rotation

Right-handed pitcher Tanner Anderson spent 2018 as a reliever. But the A's believe he can revert back to a starting pitcher and be effective in the role.

A's expect recent trade acquisition Tanner Anderson to help rotation originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

As the A's continue their search for starting pitching, they believe they might have found an under-the-radar option in a recent trade.

Oakland acquired 25-year-old right-hander Tanner Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates last month in exchange for 18-year-old righty Wilkin Ramos.

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Anderson spent most of last season in Triple-A, where he went 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA and six saves in 39 relief appearances. In six major league games, he was 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA.

Until last year, however, Anderson was a starting pitcher. In 2017, he made 19 starts in Double-A, going 10-8 with a 3.38 ERA. The A's would like him to be a starter again.

"I told him to get ready as a starter," A's general manager David Forst said. "I'd like to think he could do that. If not, he's a guy who can go two, three, four innings at a time. He said he sees himself as a guy who can turn the lineup over more than once, so that could prove to be valuable."

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If nothing else, we know Anderson is smart. He graduated from Harvard in 2015, and was selected by Pittsburgh in the 20th round of the MLB draft.

Anderson is not a strikeout pitcher, but he does induce a high percentage of ground balls, with almost three times as many grounders as fly balls throughout his career. He features a low-to-mid-90s sinker as well as a mid-80s slider and does a great job limiting walks.

Even if Anderson doesn't earn a spot in Oakland's starting rotation, he could be a perfect candidate to pitch multiple innings in "opener" games. The A's love his versatility and, at the very least, he could provide a backup plan for the rotation in the case of injuries.

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