Cleveland Indians pitcher Cody Anderson off to hot start with Columbus Clippers
After a great start to the 2015 season with the Akron RubberDucks, right-handed starter Cody Anderson was promoted by the Indians to AAA Columbus on June 5.
Anderson, the 2013 winner of the Bob Feller Award – given to the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year — bounced back from a tough 2014 season at Akron and posted a 3-2 record with a 1.69 ERA in nine starts this season with the RubberDucks to earn the promotion.
“I’m really just attacking the strike zone and throwing strikes early in the count, which I struggled with last year,” Anderson said. “I’m getting ahead and working ahead.”
The former 2011, 14th-round selection out of Feather River College (Quincy, Calif.) has carried that early success to Columbus, where he has gone 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his first three starts.
“His velocity has improved, his breaking ball has improved and his ability to locate the ball has improved,” said Carter Hawkins, Indians Director of Player Development. “Getting him to Columbus, where he’ll face more experienced hitters, is a natural step in his progression that will help prepare him to pitch the way he’ll have to in Cleveland.”
Anderson was added to the 40-man roster on November 20, 2014 and was named the 10th-best prospect in the Indians system entering 2015 by Baseball America. The 6-4, 235-pounder. spent much of Spring Training this season in Major League camp. He credits that in his development and confidence this season.
“It was a great experience being around all the veteran guys and watching them work and prepare and their routines that start early in the morning,” he said. “They get there and they take care of business and the way they go about their business is so professional and I really took a lot from that.”
In his stellar 2013 season, the right-hander went a combined 9-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 26 starts between Carolina and Akron and was tabbed the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year, in addition to winning the Feller Award..
Last season, Anderson posted a 4-11 record at AA Akron, ending the season with a 5.44 ERA in 25 starts. There were signs of the success from 2013, including a five-start span from July 7-August 14 in which he went 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA, but Anderson’s overall numbers were inflated thanks to four starts with at least seven earned runs allowed.
“It’s all just kind of a learning process,” he said. “Learning how to take care of your body, how to find a routine. I’m playing at a better level and it’s been a great start to the year.”
Anderson put in the work leading up this season, and the Indians saw firsthand how committed he was to sharpening his game.
“Cody knew going into this offseason that increasing his flexibility and mobility would allow him to get into more effective positions in his delivery and most importantly, allow him to tap into his natural strength,” Hawkins said. “He spent the entire off-season in Goodyear working on those goals, and his outstanding process and intent has certainly brought him results.”
Anderson sees the hard work paying off and his on-field performances have reflected that. In 19.1 innings pitched at Columbus, he has allowed just 17 hits, while striking out 18 batters against five walks.
“It’s been rewarding to see Cody’s progress, and he’s been so consistent with his routines and work that more opportunities are bound to come his way,” Hawkins said.
–TribeVibe contributor Jerod Scheetz