With the Los Angeles Dodgers opening the season on Monday against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, several players were officially placed on the disabled list to begin the season.
One was Brett Anderson, who as a result of undergoing surgery last month for a bulging disk in his back, starts the 2016 season on the 60-day DL retroactive to March 25. The left-hander rejected multiyear contracts to re-sign with the Dodgers by accepting the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.
The market was hardly robust for Anderson, as several prominent pitchers were free agents. The southpaw explained his decision to re-sign as gambling on himself to remain healthy and test free agency in 2016 when the crop of starters won’t be nearly as deep.
All was going well until the 28 year old felt discomfort in his back after throwing a live batting practice session during Spring Training. At the time of surgery, Anderson was projected to miss three to five months.
Outside of battling a sore left Achilles tendon that forced him to take an extra day of rest between starts, Anderson was a model of health in 2015, which was a welcome change. During the 2011 offseason, he was recovering from Tommy John surgery that ended a disappointing year with the Oakland Athletics.
Soon after returning in 2012, Anderson suffered an oblique strain in mid-September, causing him to miss the remainder of the regular season; he did manage to make one start in the playoffs. Anderson’s 2014 season with the Colorado Rockies was complete with a broken left index finger suffered while taking an at-bat in April, and season-ending back surgery in August.
Anderson was 10-9 over 31 starts last season with a 3.69 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 3.51 xFIP, 1.33 WHIP and an MLB-best 66.3 ground ball percentage. He set new career highs in starts (31) and innings pitched (180.1).
With Anderson and Ryu both slated to begin the season on the disabled list, Ross Stripling was recently named the team’s fifth starter. Anderson’s spot on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster was taken by shortstop Charlie Culberson. Anderson is one of 10 players beginning the season on the DL.