Pittsburgh Pirates: Tyler Anderson Impresses in Spring Debut

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tyler Anderson #31 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on September 20, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Giants defeated the Athletics 14-2. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tyler Anderson #31 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on September 20, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Giants defeated the Athletics 14-2. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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Left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson had a strong outing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in his 2021 Grapefruit League debut

Throughout the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates were in need of starting rotation help. On February 17, they got this help when they signed veteran left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson. The Pirates and Anderson agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.

Anderson was signed to bolster a Pirate starting rotation that saw both Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon get traded away during the offseason. The 31-year-old lefty could also become a strong trade chip for the Pittsburgh Pirates in July.

Anderson is coming off a 2020 season in which he posted a 4.37 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 9.6% walk rate, and a 15.8% strikeout rate with the San Francisco Giants. His work with the Giants took place across 59.2 innings in 13 games, 11 of which were starts.

Thursday afternoon, Anderson made his first appearance in Grapefruit League action with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Anderson started for the Pirates and, despite allowing a 1st inning run, was impressive in his Pirate debut.

Anderson pitched 2 innings of Thursday, allowing three hits and striking out three batters. In this outing Anderson became the first Pirate pitcher to toss more than 1 inning in an outing this spring. He also pounded the strike zone, throwing 32 of his 44 pitches for strikes.

Following the outing, Pirate manager Derek Shelton called Anderson’s performance a “really good first impression.” Shelton also commented on Anderson’s ability to attack the strike zone and the execution of his pitches.

Following the game the director of sports medicine for the Pittsburgh Pirates – Todd Tomczyk – told reporters that Adam Frazier could return to games immediately. Due to a mild groin strain, Frazier has yet to play this spring.

Tomczky also reported that outfielder Anthony Alford’s elbow is repsonding well to treatment. Alford, who dislocated his elbow last September, has been limited in the outfield this spring, but he does have a home run as a DH. Alford is continuing to work through his throwing program.

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Relievers Michael Feliz and Edgar Santana are both throwing bullpen sessions as they work their way back from injuries in past seasons. Tomczky reported that both are close to appearing in Grapefruit League games. Both Feliz and Santana are batlting for a spot in the team’s Opening Day bullpen.

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