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Game #158 Preview: 9/30, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies

Chase Anderson's last start of the season. How has he done?

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Chad Bettis
RHP, 8-5, 4.38
Chase Anderson
RHP, 6-6, 4.40
Charlie Blackmon - CF Socrates Brito - RF
Jose Reyes - SS Phil Gosselin - 2B
Carlos Gonzalez - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Nolan Arenado - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Corey Dickerson - LF David Peralta - LF
Justin Morneau - 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Jake Lamb - 3B
Dustin Garneau - C Chris Owings - SS
Chad Bettis - RHP Chase Anderson - RHP

The baseball gods certainly made Anderson repay the start to his major-league career, when Chase won his first five outings, as the Diamondbacks scored 45 runs of support behind him. After seven outings this season, he had a sparkling 2.81 ERA... and an 0-1 record, because Arizona this season had been averaging just 2.6 runs per game with Anderson on the mound. Things did improve a little bit thereafter, and through June 17, Chase had made 13 starts and lost just the once, with an ERA of 2.84; he had certainly been our best starting pitcher to that point in the season, and his long-term future in the rotation seemed assured.

Now... Not so much. He had an insanely rocky patch of about two months where he couldn't get anyone out, posting a 7.65 ERA, and getting himself sent down to Reno - until receiving a reprieve after Jeremy Hellickson needed to go on the disabled list. Chase has been better since, with a 3.86 ERA over his final five starts, but he's still far from a lock for a 2016 starting job. His ERA this year has increased from 4.01 to 4.40, though his FIP has actually decreased fractionally (4.22 to 4.17). His K-rate of just 6.5 per nine is worryingly low, but last time out, he reached double-digit strikeouts for the first ever time; hopefully, we'll see something similar tonight as Anderson finishes strong.

Right now, I think he's probably in the mix for one of the back of the rotation spots, but it seems likely there is going to be quite a lot of competition for them. If we get a free-agent start, and presuming Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray have two spots locked up, that would leave two spots left. Based on FIP, he has done better than most of the other currently active candidates, such as Zack Godley (4.34), Jeremy Hellickson (4.35), Jhoulys Chacin (4.64) and Rubby De La Rosa (4.76). But there are others, such as Archie Bradley and Aaron Blair, as well as possibly Daniel Hudson, who will certainly be in the conversation. He certainly should take nothing for granted.