Indians righty Cody Anderson underwent an arthroscopic debridement of his right elbow yesterday, per a team announcement. He is expected to resume throwing in early January.
If all goes well with the rehab protocol, the team expects that Anderson will be able to ramp up in Spring Training as usual and be available at the start of the 2017 season. While his role is uncertain after a trying 2016 season, Anderson remains an important part of Cleveland’s pitching staff.
Heading into the year, Anderson was hoping to build off of a rookie year in which he posted a 3.05 ERA over 91 1/3 innings in 15 starts. While he jumped to a 12.2% swinging-strike rate, nearly doubled his strikeout rate (to 8.0 K/9), lowered his walk rate (to 1.9 BB/9), and showed added fastball velocity (93.5 mph) in 2016, Anderson ended with an ugly 6.68 ERA over 60 2/3 frames.
Anderson was somewhat more successful later in the year after transitioning to the bullpen, and showed well at Triple-A. But he’ll need to improve upon the batted ball outcomes to succeed in 2017. Last year, opposing hitters made soft contact at a meager 15.8% rate, which helped them post a lofty .381 BABIP, and hit nearly two home runs per nine with a 19.1% HR/FB rate.
Cleveland will surely hope that Anderson can bounce back from the injury, and his struggles, to function at least as a useful swingman. He could battle with Josh Tomlin, Mike Clevinger, Ryan Merritt, and perhaps others for a spot in the rotation in camp, though the first order of business will be to get healthy. It’s certainly possibly that Anderson could end up in the pen or working to refine his game at Triple-A to open next season.