Tough news for people who like good pitching: Oakland A’s nominal ace and exciting young left-handed starter Brett Anderson underwent Tommy John surgery early this morning in Florida. Anderson may not return until the start of the 2013 season.

Obviously this a huge-yet-hardly-expected blow to the A’s. Anderson spent time on the DL twice in 2010 with elbow soreness before going on the shelf (for good) early in June of this year.

As Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues notes on twitter, starters like Anderson rely so heavily on their sliders (Anderson throws it more than 40% of the time) are bound to pay a price. To his credit, the barrage of sliders made Anderson into a strong starting pitcher.

Consistent FIP numbers in the mid-3s with above average groundball rates helped him earn more than 7 Wins above replacement in less than 400 big league innings. The A’s will certainly miss Anderson in their push to…ensure a good opening weekend haul for the Moneyball movie.

Again, a real shame for A’s fans and baseball fans in general. Oakland has a lot of credible arms in their rotation and Anderson gave them a chance to compete in the AL West. Luckily for Anderson, he sold off his arbitration when he signed a 4 year, $12 million deal early last season.

Here’s hoping the young lefty heals fully and quickly. Trevor Cahill can only walk between the raindrops for so long.

Comments (6)

  1. I can’t help but feel the rise in pitching quality over the past 20 years or so has to do with TJ surgery. If pitchers who blew their elbow were done, they would adjust to throwing stuff that wouldn’t ruin their arm. Instead they pitch and pitch until their arm falls off and build it up again.

    Imagine what the picthing would be like in a 30 team league if TJ surgery didn’t exist. How many top pitchers would be left?

  2. But I’m not so much talking about how successful pitchers are post surgery. I mean, if TJ didn’t exist, we’d have scores of pitchers who couldn’t pitch again. Therefore pitchers would be less likely to push as hard. Now, knowing they can come back if they blow their elbow, they push harder.

  3. And I’d be out of a job. Oh wait…

  4. bummer, i have checked out a few of his starts on mlb.tv and was hoping to see him in August.

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