Brett Anderson’s 2016 debut ended just about as quickly as it began. It got off to an ominous start, as Anderson’s first pitch was lined into center field by Josh Harrison for a leadoff single. His outing spiraled downward from there.
Jordy Mercer followed with a two-run home run, Sean Rodriguez added a three-run homer, and Anderson added injury to insult on a failed diving attempt at a soft grounder hit toward second base.
He was checked on by Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and head athletic trainer Nate Lucero, but remained in the game after a couple warmup tosses.
Anderson retired Pittsburgh Pirates starter Chad Kuhl to end the inning. The southpaw didn’t return in the second, exiting with a mild left wrist sprain.
“It was just stiff. I threw the warmup pitches and they were OK,” Anderson said after his abridged return.
“Then I said if I can’t get the pitcher out regardless, I shouldn’t be out here. Then in the dugout between innings, it stiffened up and I wasn’t able to get the same range of motion. There are no broken bones or tears. Hopefully, I can flush out the inflammation and get back out there when they ask me to.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sounded optimistic, if not hopeful, Anderson will overcome what’s believed to be a relatively minor injury. “For us, it’s day to day, we’ll check in [Monday] and see how it responds,” Roberts said after his club’s loss.
“I know Brett was looking forward to this start. For it to go the way that it did, obviously is unfortunate for him and us. Hopefully he responds to treatment. These are circumstances we have to deal with.”
Anderson last season was often a victim of soft contact resulting in infield singles. He led the Majors with a 66.3 ground ball percentage.
“It feels like I’m kind of snakebit. I finally get weak contact after some hard-hit balls in the first, and then the dive and I landed on my wrist weird and it kind of stiffened up,” Anderson said.
“I think I should be fine going forward, but to put our bullpen in that situation after (Brandon) McCarthy, to try to have us go nine innings, it’s embarrassing on my part.”
Anderson’s wrist issue came on a day when Brandon McCarthy landed on the disabled list with right hip stiffness, and Josh Ravin with right triceps inflammation.
Further adding to the question marks in the Dodgers’ rotation is Rich Hill’s debut getting delayed a third time. Kenta Maeda will start Tuesday’s series opener in Philadelphia, Scott Kazmir is slated for Wednesday, and Bud Norris is expected to be activated from the DL to start the three-game finale.
What pieces will complete the puzzle beyond that remains unknown.