Calling the Pittsburgh Pirates about Tyler Anderson could land the Mets a solid starter and add another lefty to the righty-heavy staff.
Anderson is a really interesting starting pitching case, because what he’s doing this season is nothing special, but there could be some hidden upside. He has a 4.35 ERA and 95 ERA+, both of which, while not good, are also not horrible.
However, he has two blow-up starts that are really inflating those numbers. He gave up nine earned runs in five innings to the Braves in mid-May, and he gave up six earned runs in six innings to the Nationals in mid-June. Other than those two starts, he’s held opposing lineups to three or fewer runs in five or more innings 15 out of 16 times.
In fact, he hasn’t pitched fewer than five innings in a single one of his 18 starts this season. On the flip side, he’s only gone more than six innings on four occasions, but the way starters are treated nowadays, that’s not really a rarity. Even the great Jacob deGrom has only gone more than six innings in just five of his 15 starts.
Similar to Davies, Anderson could be the acquisition the Mets make if they want to get someone to eat innings in the back end of the rotation until reinforcements arrive. Anderson would also be a rental, as his contract is up after the end of the season.
The difference between the two starters is that Anderson has more upside than Davies. Their overall numbers are similar, but while Davies has been consistently unimpressive (aside from a few gems here or there), Anderson just has a couple of horrible starts dragging his line down.
It is concerning that Anderson’s worst two starts were against the Braves and Nationals because he’d be moving to the NL East and would highly likely have to face those teams again at least once. However, if a deal emerges that the Mets like, that shouldn’t be enough to hold them back from pulling the trigger.