The 2022 Los Angeles Angels were not a good team, but still gave fans reason to believe the next season would be better. The hope was injuries would die down a bit, they'd improve their offense, and they finally had a starting rotation to be proud of.
The Angels ranked sixth in all of baseball in rotation ERA last season, and that was with them being led by Shohei Ohtani and a whole bunch of young arms the team assumed would keep improving. Patrick Sandoval had a great year, while other young arms like Reid Detmers and even Jose Suarez had really good second halves.
The Angels had Ohtani and the young pitchers here, and even improved their rotation further by signing Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal. Or so we thought. Anderson was expected to play a key role in the middle of the rotation but struggled really from start to finish. His season, like so many others on this Angels team, has officially come to an end due to injury. Let's see how this signing looks one season into the three-year contract. Hint: it's not great.
LA Angels GM Perry Minasian deserves a D+ for the Tyler Anderson signing one year into his three-year contract
I'm not ashamed to say I was a fan of the deal when it was signed. Three years for $39 million for a pitcher who was just an all-star the season prior seemed like excellent value. No, the Angels weren't expecting him to be an all-star again. If they did, he wouldn't be making $13 million annually. When you compared the deal Anderson signed to the contracts other free agent starters did, it seemed like a bargain. It hasn't aged that way at all.
Anderson's Angels career got off to a nice start with six shutout innings in Oakland. Unfortunately, that's just Oakland, and he finished the month with a 5.74 ERA in five starts. Anderson had one good stretch this season in which he had a 3.54 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) from June 18 to August 5. Of course, he'd finish his season with a 6.87 ERA in his final seven appearances (six starts).
Overall, his season stats do not look pretty. He finished year one of his Angels tenure with a 5.43 ERA in 27 appearances (25 starts) and 141 innings pitched. The most concerning statistic from Anderson's season was his walk-rate spiking to 10.2%. That's the worst mark of his career, and for a pitcher who made a living off of throwing strikes, that's not a good sign. He simply doesn't have the stuff to be living out of the strike zone.
The one saving grace for Anderson was his ability to stay healthy as he was one of just four Angels players on the Opening Day roster to remain on the active roster all season. That, of course, was just taken away.
Anderson's 5.43 ERA was the sixth-highest among pitchers with at least 140 innings pitched. That, of course, is a major issue. There is hope that he can improve slightly as he had a 4.93 FIP and a 5.04 xERA, but that's still not what the Angels paid for. Anderson was supposed to be a quality innings eater for this team and it's hard to imagine the team gets that.
Next season the Angels will presumably test their luck again with Anderson in their rotation hoping for better results for the then 34-year-old. For now, this signing is nothing more than a dud.