This morning, the Rangers purchased the contract of righty Grant Anderson and designated RHP Ricky Vanasco for assignment. Anderson has spent most of the season in AAA Round Rock plus a few innings in Frisco, producing a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings with a 14% BB/HBP rate and a gargantuan 41% strikeout rate. He’s not an especially hard throwing averaging 91.5 with a fastball and 83 with a slider. With Anderson’s side-armed delivery, the fastball has a ton of movement and effectively operates like another breaker. The slider draws the most praise, but he misses bats equally with both and has a team-high 18% swinging strike rate in AAA. Opponents are hitting .182/.293/.343 against him, and he escaped Albuquerque without a run against him in 3.2 innings.
In March 2019 in Surprise, I filmed Anderson before he became a Ranger, as by coincidence he’d pitched against several Texas hitting prospects. What I saw impressed the Rangers, who acquired Anderson for RHP Connor Sadzeck two weeks later. Texas didn’t protect Anderson in last winter’s Rule 5 draft, and Anderson received a glowing writeup from Baseball America with expectations that he could be taken, but he passed through. (I liked Anderson but not to that extent.)
I have video of Anderson from the previous homestand. I’d say Anderson is here to reinforce the bullpen, not save it. Vanasco was a risky if understandable addition after 2021 coming off Tommy John surgery. Had he not been added that fall, I doubt he would have been protected after 2022, which contained periods of lower velocity and middling results. Vanasco has struggled badly in two starts off the IL following knee surgery. I’m not surprised he was DFAed. I am surprised it happened this soon.
AAA: Round Rock 11, at Albuquerque (COL) 8
Round Rock: 12 hits, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 27-23, 9.5 GB
SP Jake Latz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 11 P / 7 S, 9.19 ERA
RP Kyle Cody: 4.2 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 2 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 7.32 ERA
RP Chase Lee: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 3.58 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 2-4, BB, .288/.388/.486
1B Blaine Crim: 3-5, 2B, SB (1), .266/.362/.422
Davis Wendzel (1-5 with a double) was .526/.640/1.316 for the week. Albuquerque plays a prominent role in that success, of course, but Wendzel’s median exit velocity in the series was 100 MPH compared to 90.9 for all participants. He would have had a terrific week anywhere.
Number of balls hit at least 425 feet in Round Rock’s first 44 games: 7
Number of balls hit at least 425 feet in Round Rock’s 6 games at ABQ: 10
AA: Frisco 4, at Arkansas (SEA) 8
Frisco: 6 hits, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 20-24, 3.5 GB
SP Matt Brosky: 3 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 5 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 61 P / 35 S, 15.00 ERA
RP Alex Speas: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1.10 ERA
2B Thomas Saggese: 1-3, 2 BB, .306/.366/.445
1B Dustin Harris: 1-3, BB, .226/.364/.396
Jack Leiter was a late scratch. Per Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today, Leiter had foot soreness and should make next week’s start.
This time last year, Matt Brosky was four days removed from his final start at Youngstown State (a complete-game shutout), which is to say, having him pitch in AA is a big ask.
Hi-A: wet, again
To be made up in Asheville next month.
Lo-A: wet, again
Neither game of the doubleheader will be rescheduled. Both Hickory and Down East have played 41 of a scheduled 45 games.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Down East was rained out.