Brian Anderson surprised the baseball community at the end of spring training when the slugging outfielder announced that he was converting to pitching.
Playing with his third franchise in eight months, Anderson saw his Big League dream stalled after five seasons and a .227 career batting average and 22 home runs.
The conversion to right-handed pitcher appears slow for the ex-Canyon Del Oro High School standout.
The Royals promoted Anderson after he hurled five scoreless innings, striking out six batters and giving up two hits, for the club’s Arizona League squad.
His debut with the Single-A Burlington Bees was a bit auspicious. Anderson gave up three runs (two of them earned) and walked a batter in a third of an inning pitched. The rough outing gives him an ERA of 54.00 with the Bees.
No one said it would be easy, especially for a player who hasn’t taken the mound since his days at the University of Arizona. Reports say his fastball is ticking in the low 90s as he builds up his arm strength, while adding additional pitches (slide and changeup) to his repertoire.
At Arizona in 2002, Anderson went 0-2 with four saves and an 8.18 ERA in 11 innings pitched for the Wildcats.
The former White Sox first-round pick is, technically, on Kansas City’s 40-man roster, meaning he’s could travel to the Big Leagues when the rosters expand at the end of the month.
The Royals, however, sit buried in the American League Central division — 21 games out of the wildcat slot.
BEWARE THE INJURY BUG
You always hear the same adage bantered about, every time a wealth of talent hails from a particular town or region.
“Must be something in the water,” they say.
Whatever’s in the Tucson water, it’s probably best you put your glass down and switch to drink bottled water.
It’s been a tough, injury-riddled year for many of the Tucson’s prime baseball talents — including some of the most seasoned MLB players ever to hail from the Old Pueblo.
Here’s a look at what can best be described as an infirmary list as the 2010 season enters its dog days.*
San Diego Padres; Canyon Del Oro High School
KEY STATS: .232 BA; 10 HR; 33 RBI
GAMES PLAYED: 79
GAMES MISSED DUE TO INJURY: 16