Who is Matt Anderson, you ask? He sounds like one of these acquisitions that gets us another over-30 warm body to show up for Spring Training to try and claw his way into a bullpen spot.
Yes. That is what he is.
But he was also the first pick entirely in the 1997 first year player draft! That’s something! So is this stapler I’m wielding for some reason as I type this. Huh.Matt went to the same high school as Paul Byrd, an ex-Phillie who was around long enough to get a personalized fan section (RIP Byrd Cage) and Jack Savage, a renegade cop with nothing to lose some other former pro ballplayer.
The right-hander did all this two years ago, too, only with the White Sox. He got signed on small time, got a nonroster invite to the pre season party, then spent the regular season dwelling in Triple-A Charlotte. Apparently, early on in his career, Matt was a demon for the Tigers, but then, due to what Jerry Crasnick referred to as “arm problems,” he crashed and burned quite successfully.
Now, when Crasnick says “arm problems,” what exactly are we talking about? Well, according to Matt’s bio on the White Sox web site, “Not found. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try back again in a few minutes…”
So, if you’ve got several spare seconds, and you’ve been here for like 45 already so just cool your jets, dig a little deeper. In Matt ripped his right armpit muscles so hard that he couldn’t even tap 90 mph after habitually clearing 100 (Including two grazes of 103).
Let me put the brakes on this Black Swan-esque downward spiral into insanity. In March of 2008, while pitching against the Rangers in the pre season, Matt scraped up against 99 mph amidst an afternoon of hope-raising 95’s and 96’s.
He mentioned he may have struggled during his recovery because a bunch of different coaches were all waving their arms and shouting. If there’s one manager who probably won’t do that to a fragile pitcher, it’s Charlie Manuel. He stuck by Brad Lidge in 2009, and he was blowing save opportunities like a psycho.
And if that’s not enough,
“I’ve been through it. I’ve done it and I know what to expect, what to listen to and what to filter and what to do. I know where I’m at now. I love baseball.”
Dude loves baseball.