Mariners’ trade for Tyler Anderson a big reason Seattle remains in the race

Sep 22, 2021, 12:51 PM
Mariners Tyler Anderson...
Tyler Anderson of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Of the three trades the Mariners made during the week of the MLB trade deadline in late July, one clearly received the least amount of attention. Of course, that’s now the trade that probably deserves the most credit for Seattle’s playoff hopes remaining alive with less than two weeks to go in the regular season.

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Starting pitcher Tyler Anderson was picked up by the Mariners from the Pittsburgh Pirates for prospects Carter Bins and Joaquin Tejada on July 27 – sandwiched right in between flashier deals with the Astros and Rays – and the left-hander with the herky-jerky motion and multiple arm angles has proven to be right at home in a (usually Northwest Green) Mariners uniform. In 10 starts since the trade, the 31-year-old Oregon Duck has a 3.38 ERA, 1.161 WHIP and 46 strikeouts to just 10 walks over 56 innings. He also has a 1.2 WAR with Seattle, just 0.1 less than he had with the Pirates this year in 18 starts, according to Baseball Reference.

Anderson has pitched through the fifth inning in eight of his 10 games with Seattle, and his last outing was his best yet since joining the Mariners, throwing seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball with seven strikeouts and one walk in a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday.

“Really good outing for him. Probably as sharp as he’s been at any point since we acquired him there at the deadline,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said Tuesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s weekly Scott Servais Show. “He’s been on a roll and we certainly needed it (Monday).”

Isn’t that the truth? The Mariners went into their current four-game series in Oakland with the A’s four games out of a wild card spot, with Oakland two games ahead of them in the race. Seattle pulled even with the Athletics after the win in Anderson’s start and another victory Tuesday night.

Servais said the Mariners were aware of what kind of pitcher they were getting when they traded for Anderson, but it’s always a question of how a player will fit with a new team. In that respect, it could not be better with Anderson.

“He’s been a great fit,” Servais said. “Tyler is very well prepared, he’s got a good idea on who he is, he understands what kind of pitcher he is and then how to use his stuff against different lineups in the league. So it’s been awesome to see how he’s fit in here. We say that because he’s performed at such a high level, and it’s been so critical for us to stay in this playoff race knowing that we’re gonna give him the ball once every five days and he’s gonna keep us right in the ballgame, and (Monday) night he did more than that. He shut down a really good team to get our offense a chance to get going early on in the game.”

Anderson’s role in the Mariners’ push for the postseason shouldn’t be understated. Once he arrived in Seattle, the team’s starting rotation solidified, something that is not lost on Servais, who lost multiple starters to injury earlier in the season.

“The quality of your club and the opportunity to stay in a playoff race, you need to have depth, you need to have guys that are gonna consistently give you an opportunity to win the ballgame when they’re out there. They’re gonna throw strikes, they can change speeds, hopefully as they gain experience in the league they have the ability now to attack other lineups so they have more than one way of getting you out,” he said. “… You gotta have starting pitching. It’s been so key for us. We’ve been very stable with our starting pitching ever since Tyler Anderson joined us at the trade deadline. That allows you to stay away from the a losing streak, it allows you to keep a winning streak going just because you’re always in the ballgame.”

The big question now is whether Anderson will come back to Seattle for an encore in 2022. He’s a free agent at the end of the season.

Listen to the podcast of the full Scott Servais Show at this link or in the player below.

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