The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up Tyler Anderson on an under the radar one-year deal. But he’s outpitched this popular player they traded this off-season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had a very active offseason. Most of this was due to their three big trades of Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove, and Jameson Taillon. They made some minor, mostly small-time, one-year, and minor league deals as well. Tyler Anderson, who was one of those one-year deals, has been quite effective and consistent this year. But has actually out pitched one of the three players the Pirates traded, that being Jameson Taillon.
So far this season Anderson has made 18 starts and totaling 103.1 innings. Throughout these 103.1 innings, Anderson has put up a 4.35 ERA, 4.27 FIP, and 1.2 WHIP. Anderson hasn’t gotten many strikeouts with a 20% rate. But he’s kept walks to a minimum, allowing just 5.8% of batters faced to reach via free pass. He’s given up a total of 16 home runs for a 1.39 HR/9 rate.
Anderson’s ERA estimators reflect a similar story. He has a 4.41 xFIP, 4.43 SIERA, and 4.99 DRA. Now his overall numbers have been a bit misleading. Anderson has been the model of consistency this year. He has gone at least 5 innings in each of his 18 starts while giving up 3 or fewer earned runs in 15 of said outings.
The Pittsburgh Pirates got an absolutely outstanding package out of the New York Yankees for Taillon, and he’s put up worse overall numbers than Anderson. He has also started 18 games and has totaled just 88 innings.
Taillon is carrying a 4.60 ERA, 4.56 FIP, and 1.261 WHIP, all of which are worse than Anderson. He is striking out batters more often with a 23.7% strikeout rate but has walked more (6.9% walk rate). Both Anderson and Taillon have almost identical K/BB ratios, though Anderson has a very small edge. Taillon comes in with a 3.42 mark while Anderson has a 3.44 mark. Plus, Jamo has given up the same amount of home runs despite pitching in 15.1 fewer innings and facing 55 fewer batters. This has led to a 1.64 HR/9 rate.
There’s even a strong argument to be made that the underlying numbers favor Anderson more than Taillon. Taillon has a worse xFIP (4.58) and almost identical DRA (4.98). Taillon is very slightly better than Anderson in SIERA, turning in a 4.21. That’s a 0.22 difference. The only worthwhile statistic that Taillon has a notable edge over Anderson in is xERA at 3.96. Anderson has a 4.29 mark. Unlike Anderson, Taillon hasn’t shown the same consistency game in and game out. He’s given up 4 or more earned runs in 6 of his outings this year. He’s only gone 5+ innings 11 times.
Going into the 2021 season, not many would have predicted that Tyler Anderson would pitch just as good, if not better than Jameson Taillon. The Pirates found a way to replace Taillon’s production this year, which isn’t something that many would have thought the Pirates would be able to do, let alone with their small-time, one-year deal.