Robert Chase Anderson
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.
- School North Central Texas College, University of Oklahoma
- High School S.H. Rider High School
- Debut May 11, 2014
Pitcher Chase Anderson was a winner in his major league debut in 2014.
Anderson was 12-1 with a 0.50 ERA and 155 K in 65 innings and three no-hitters as a high school senior. He fanned 291 in 206 innings in high school. The Minnesota Twins took him in the 42nd round of the 2006 amateur draft. He spent one year at North Central Texas College, with a 2.00 ERA and 115 K in 85 innings. The Twins again chose him, in the 40th round of the 2007 amateur draft, one pick before Luke Murton. He was third in the Texas Collegiate League in ERA (1.24) that summer. Transferring to the University of Oklahoma, he was 5-4 with two saves and a 5.04 ERA. The junior right-hander went 3-1 with a 4.97 ERA in 26 relief appearances. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected him in the 9th round of the 2009 amateur draft, one round after Paul Goldschmidt and one pick after Preston Guilmet; the scout was Jason Karegeannes.
Anderson was 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 18 games for the Missoula Osprey in 2009; he struck out 48 in 45 1/3 innings. He split 2010 between the South Bend Silver Hawks (2-4, 2.82 in 7 games) and Visalia Rawhide (5-3, 3 saves, 3.60 in 19 games), striking out 114 and walking 25 in 108 1/3 innings. He was 6th in the Diamondbacks chain in whiffs, between Ryan Cook and Wade Miley. Baseball America rated him having the best changeup and control in the D-backs chain. He was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA for Visalia in 2011, with 20 K to 1 BB in 13 1/3 innings, missing almost the whole season with strained right elbow. Baseball America again listed him possessing the top changeup among Arizona minor leaguers.
Chase had a 5-4, 2.86 record for the Mobile BayBears in 2012, walking 25 in 104 innings and missing almost a month with strained right elbow. Had he qualified, he would have led the Southern League in ERA by .05 over Gary Moran. Baseball America ranked him the #11 prospect in the Arizona chain and again having the best changeup in their system. He was 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. In 2013, Anderson was 4-7 with a 5.73 ERA in a rough AAA debut for the Reno Aces. He had two trips to the DL with a right triceps injury. He was back down in AA with Mobile in 2014 but began on a superb note (4-2, 0.69, 38 K, 22 H, 6 BB in 39 innings) and was called up to Arizona when Mike Bolsinger was demoted.
Chase was a winner in his major league debut, May 11, 2014, pitching for the Diamondbacks against the Chicago White Sox. He gave up only 2 hits in 5 1/3 innings, one of them a solo homer by Moises Sierra in the 6th, to be credited with a 5-1 win. He repeated as a winner in his next two starts, becoming the first pitcher in D-Backs history to win his first three career starts. A lot of run support from his teammates helped, as Arizona scored 18 times in his second start and 12 in his third. He made it four wins in four starts with his best performance on June 3rd, as he beat the Colorado Rockies, 4-2, while completing 6 innings for the first time - it was in fact his first quality start. He also won his next start, June 8th, to become the first hurler since Jered Weaver in 2006 to win his first five big league starts. He ended the year with a record of 9-7, 4.01 in 21 starts, logging 114 1/3 innings. In 2015, he made 27 starts and pitched 152 2/3 innings for Arizona, but only had 12 decisions, finishing 6-6 with a 4.30 ERA. He struck out 111 after harvesting 104 K as a rookie.
On January 31, 2016, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, along with second baseman Aaron Hill and prospect Isan Diaz, in return for shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher Tyler Wagner. On May 16th, he pitched the best game of his career against the Chicago Cubs, owners of the best record in the majors at the time, taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning and enduring 8 2/3 innings in a 4-2 win that snapped a personal five-game losing streak. Ben Zobrist broke his bid for immortality with a double on the first pitch of the 8th inning; he then allowed solo homers to Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant in the 9th, losing his bid for a shutout and departed for Jeremy Jeffress to close the door. In 31 games, he went 9-11, 4.39, pitching 151 2/3 innings.
On May 27, 2017, he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks before Nick Ahmed led off with a single. He also struck out a career-high 11 batters in a 6-1 win. He followed with another strong performance on June 1st, tossing seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 win over the New York Mets. He extended his scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings on June 6th with 7 2/3 scoreless against the San Francisco Giants, but it ended at 22 innings in his next start when he gave up a run in the bottom of the 1st against his old mates, the Diamondbacks. On June 29th, he went on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, and did not return until August 20th. He continued to do well after his return, finishing the season at 12-4, 2.74 in 25 starts. He became the team's de facto ace when Jimmy Nelson went down with a season-ending injury in early September and was solid as the Brewers fell just short in their quest for a postseason slot.
In 2018, with Nelson still recovering from his injury, he was named the Brewers' Opening Day starter, facing the San Diego Padres on March 29th. Anderson made 30 starts and went 9-8, 3.93 in 158 innings, but also led the Nationals League in homers allowed with 30. When it came time to draw up the pitching rotation for the postseason, Anderson was left on the side and did not pitch at all as the Brewers made it to within one game of the World Series. He was back starting regularly in 2019, with 27 starts in 32 appearances and 139 innings. He went 8-4, 4.21, and again did not pitch in the postseason, although this time the Brewers played just one game, losing the Wild Card Game to the Washington Nationals, who would go on to win the World Series. On November 4h, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in return for marginal prospect Chad Spanberger in what was clearly a cost-cutting move. However, he was joining a team that was desperate for some veteran pitching, having finished the previous season with a patched-up starting rotation made up entirely of rookies and other inexperienced pitchers.
He hit a snag when he rejoined the Blue Jays in July 2020 after the long layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as he came down with a oblique strain, which was expected to make him miss at the least the first couple of weeks of the season. He made his debut on August 8th, starting against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He gave up 1 run in 3 innings as Toronto won the game, 2-1. He had a nightmarish inning on September 17th, when he served as the "bulk man" in a bullpen game against the New York Yankees. Following a 1st inning in which opener Julian Merryweather had allowed a couple of runs, he kept the Yankees off the scoreboard the next two frames, allowing the Jays to tie the score, but everything fell apart in the 4th when he tied a major league record by allowing 5 homers, including 3 on three consecutive pitches. The Yankees scored 7 runs in the inning and ended up 10-7 winners. He went 1-2, 7.22 in 10 games for Toronto and in 2021 found himself pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, with success just as elusive. He went 2-4, 6.75 in 14 games and was again on the move after the season.
In 2022, Anderson pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, his fourth major league team in four years, and struggled yet again, going 2-4, 6.38 in 9 games. In addition to the big league teams, he had been the property of the Texas Rangers late in 2021 and of the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays in early 2022, although he had not appeared at the major league level with either of these three teams. It looked like at 35 he was at the end of the road, but the Reds, looking for depth, re-signed him before the 2023 season, then on May 3rd sold his contract to the Rays. He did not appear in the majors for the Reds but did pitch twice for Tampa, giving up no runs in five innings over two appearances. He was placed on waivers when the Rays tried to send him down to the minors, but was claimed by yet another team, the Colorado Rockies. He was back starting in the majors, albeit with little success as he was winless over his first eight starts. On June 24th, facing the Los Angeles Angels at Coors Field, he opened the 3rd inning by giving up long balls to Mike Trout, Brandon Drury and Matt Thaiss on three consecutive pitches; that was the first time this had happened in the majors since he had himself done it as a member of the Blue Jays in 2020. The Angeles went on to tie a franchise record with 13 runs in that inning (he was long done by the time it ended) and set a new team mark with a 25-1 win.
- Tom Haudricourt: "Chase Anderson, who has steadily improved as a Brewer, will start opening day", USA Today Sports, March 12, 2018.