Nick Anderson came in to relieve Charlie Morton in Monday night’s contest in Saint Louis and showed all of Braves country why he deserves a spot in this bullpen. This under the radar winter signing may pay huge dividends in 2023 if this outing is a sign of things to come.
Anderson came in with one out and one on in the bottom of the sixth inning after Charlie Morton gave up three runs on nine hits and recorded one strikeout in his season opener. Nick was able to secure five big outs for the Braves while limiting the damage as best one can against this deep Cards lineup. He struck out four and induced a ground ball as well as a fly ball to take Atlanta into the eighth inning. Anderson did give up a solo shot to Paul Goldschmidt, but I’m not going to give him too much grief for that. He’s the reigning NL MVP after all.
Nick Anderson was able to get these five outs on 28 pitches. 14 curveballs and 14 fastballs and the curveball was devastating. The bottom just absolutely falls out of it and the Cardinals couldn’t seem to help but offer at it. He had a 66% whiff rate on the pitch while spinning it at around 1937 RPMs. The fastball averaged 93.4 MPH and was used to record three of his four K’s.
After not pitching in 2022 due to a couple of injury plagued seasons, Anderson signed a split contract with the Braves on November 11th of last year. It pays $180,000 in the minors and $875,000 if he’s with the big league club. If he can keep up this level of production and continue to get high leverage outs for this team, he’s worth that plus about 5 million. He becomes arbitration eligible in 2024 so it will be interesting to see if the Braves value him enough to bring him along for the long haul. His health is the key factor but if Nick can stay on the field, I think we’ll be seeing quite a bit of the 32 year old right hander this season.