Game #40: Diamondbacks @ White Sox

Christian Petersen

Chase Anderson makes his major-league debut for the Diamondbacks this afternoon in Chicago, as we go for the series win over the White Sox.

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Chase Anderson
RHP, 0-0, N/A
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Hector Noesi
RHP, 0-2, 8.27

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. Gerardo Parra - RF
  2. Martin Prado - 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Miguel Montero - C
  5. Aaron Hill - 2B
  6. Eric Chavez - DH
  7. Cody Ross - LF
  8. A.J. Pollock - CF
  9. Cliff Pennington - SS
    + Chase Anderson - P

Today, Anderson will become the 20th pitcher to make his major-league debut as a starter for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the first this year. Here are the previous 19: there are two obvious names missing from the list, so do you know who those are, and why they're not on it? Answer at the end. As the list stands, it's sobering reading, because there's only one name on the list who has enjoyed sustained success for us: Wade Miley. There are some who have done well for other teams or might do so in the future (Parker, Skaggs, Holmberg, Bauer), but overall, it doesn't make our record of drafting and nourishing pitchers look good.

We'll see what Anderson can do. He has been lights out in Double-A, with an ERA of video-game proportions (0.69) and a K:BB ratio of 38:6, but that comes on the heels of, and at a level lower than, a 2013 campaign where he struggled, putting up a 5.73 ERA in Reno. Is this year's success an indication that a light-bulb went on in his head? Or simply indicative of an old for his level pitcher feasting on over-aggressive young hitters? I imagine we'll find out this afternoon, as he see hitters in a major-league game for the first time.

If you want a quick overview of what to expect, ScoutingBook.com says, "His fastball isn't anything special, but he shows a plus changeup and an adeptness at throwing his breaking ball for strikes." That changeup will be key to his success today; before the 2013 season, it was written, "His change-up is generally regarded as the best among Diamondbacks’ minor leaguers. Some believe it’s the best in the entire organization," and MLB Prospect Watch theorizes, "He could be especially effective his first time through the league before there is a lot of video or credible data on his tendencies, as his change-up surprises unsuspecting hitters."

We've already seen how aggressive the White Sox hitters can be - Brandon McCarthy will wear the scars from Friday's outing for quite some time - and I would imagine Anderson will be throwing a lot of off-speed pitches early in the count, hoping to take advantage of that enthusiasm. Obviously, he'll also need to locate his fastball to keep hitters honest and guessing, as well as avoid free passes: there will be hits, inevitably, and we don't need the bases clogged up with batters who have trotted down to first-base. A quality start would be very acceptable, and with Noesi having been wobbly thus far, should give Arizona a decent shot at taking their third straight road series.

Answer to question. The list excludes both Brandon Webb and Max Scherzer, because their major-league debuts were in relief, not as starters. In Webb's case, it was the only one of his 199 appearances where he came out of the bullpen.

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