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Looking Back in Hindsight, Chase Anderson Feels He’s Finally Where He Belongs



Chase Anderson, Pittsburgh Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. — Chase Anderson’s career with the Pittsburgh Pirates almost began sooner than it did. On Monday, the Pirates signed Anderson to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

The 36-year-old said that it wasn’t the first time general manager Ben Cherington came calling.

According to Anderson, the Pirates were interested in signing him in 2021, but the veteran opted for the other side of the state and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The deal didn’t pan out. Anderson battled a number of injuries and struggled to the tune of a 6.75 ERA in 14 appearances. He ended up getting released in August.

“Looking back in hindsight, this might have been the better spot for me,” Anderson said when speaking to members of the media on Monday. “I’m here now. Looking forward to this opportunity.

“I just felt like it was the best opportunity to make a team and compete for a spot. I feel like that division — I played for Milwuakee for four years — this part of the country, it’s kind of like me,. Blue collar people, hard working, steel city. Looking forward to feeling like I did when I was with Milwuakee. That’s kind of how I operate from a small town in Texas. Looking forward to this place.”

The best seasons of Anderson’s career came during his run with the Brewers from 2016-19. In 118 career appearances with Milwaukee, Anderson went 38-27 with a 3.83 ERA.

With the Brewers, he was teammates with current Pirates’ catcher Yasmani Grandal and non-roster invitee Wily Peralta. They are two of a number of veterans Anderson has crossed paths with in his career.

In addition to those two, Anderson has shared a big-league clubhouse with a number of players in Pirates’ camp — Andrew McCutchen, Bailey Falter, Jake Lamb, Rowdy Tellez, Ryan Borucki and Billy McKinney.

“The longer you play, the smaller the community gets,” Anderson said. “It’s fun to reunite with some of those guys.”

Anderson gets thrown into the competition to land one of the two open spots currently in the Pirates’ rotation.

While his overall numbers with the Colorado Rockies last season were poor, he did finish on a high note. Over his final seven starts, five of which came in the final month of the season, Anderson posted a 3.44 ERA with a .644 OPS against him.

The right-hander threw seven no-hit innings against the San Francisco Giants on Sep. 15.

“Coming off the IL in Colorado, probably pitching in the toughest place to pitch in the major leagues, and then almost pitching a no-hitter and pitching good against the Padres, finally getting a win against the Dodgers that last start,” he said. “I felt like I was back to myself and that was a really good springboard to the offseason to get the confidence back, knowing I can still do it.

“It didn’t feel foreign. I just needed to go do it like I did in September to prove to the league and to teams that I can still do this.”

Though he’s competing for a spot on the opening day roster, Anderson brings a wealth of experience with him.

Anderson has pitched for seven different teams in his 10-year big-league career. Offering guidance to younger players is something Anderson has embraced at this stage of his career.

“That’s a huge thing I’ve taken on the last couple years is being a veteran,” he explained. “Being around a long time, this is my 15th spring training, that’s crazy to think about that.

“That’s part of being a veteran that you have to embrace. I think it’s some of the most rewarding parts when you get towards the end of your career to give back to the game and teach these guys how to go about their business. How to continue to get better and figure out a way to navigate a lineup two or three times.”

Whether by earning a spot or just being a mentor to the younger players, Anderson is looking to make the most out of his opportunity in the black and gold three years after what could have been.

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