Chase Anderson suffered an oblique strain while preparing for a bullpen session and is day-to-day with the injury, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi and other reporters. Montoyo’s description would seem to indicate that Anderson suffered a very mild strain, as more serious oblique injuries have been known to keep players out of action for months at a time.
Still, the timing of Anderson’s issue creates doubt as to whether or not the right-hander will be ready for the beginning of the season. If a replacement is needed within Toronto’s rotation, the Jays have several potential arms behind the starting four of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Trent Thornton, and Matt Shoemaker.
Speculation has already focused on whether or not top prospect Nate Pearson could take that fifth starter’s role, and such hurlers as Anthony Kay, Ryan Borucki, Thomas Hatch, Jacob Waguespack, or others could also potentially get the call if the Jays wanted to limit Pearson’s service time. As Davidi notes, the team would gain an extra year of control over Pearson by keeping him on the taxi squad for roughly a week into the season. Regardless of the specific timing of the promotion, it seems very likely that Pearson will make his MLB debut at some point in 2020.
Anderson was acquired from the Brewers at the start of November, coming off a season that saw him post a 4.21 ERA, 2.48 K/BB rate, and 8.0 K/9 over 139 frames (starting 27 of 32 games). The 32-year-old has posted solid numbers over his six MLB seasons with Arizona and Milwaukee, working mostly as a starter and averaging 143 innings per year. Anderson has been relatively durable over his career, though it’s worth noting that he missed close to two months of the 2017 season due to a left oblique strain.