Anderson's grip on Brewers' rotation secure

Anderson's grip on Brewers' rotation secure

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In case there was any doubt after Chase Anderson allowed back-to-back homers in the first inning of Sunday's 5-4 victory over the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark, the Brewers' new right-hander is still a solid go for the rotation this season.

Anderson allowed a three-run blast by Mike Napoli, followed by Yan Gomes' solo shot. He then settled down to retire seven of the final eight batters he faced in his three-inning stint.

"It was good to end on a positive note," Anderson said. "Arm has felt great. Body has felt great. It's really getting out there and getting your motion down. Getting things going. Locating the ball where you want to. It was progress for sure today."

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Anderson was acquired from the D-backs in a five-player trade on Jan. 30. The Brewers also got veteran infielder Aaron Hill and Minor League infielder Isan Diaz. Infielder Jean Segura and Minor League pitcher Tyler Wagner went to Arizona.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, beginning his first full season at the helm, is sorting out his rotation and has yet to name a starter for the season opener at Miller Park against the Giants on April 4, but one thing he knows for certain.

"Chase Anderson, he's in our rotation," Counsell said. "He's a young starting pitcher that we think has another step to take forward. He's kind of had two mostly full years pitching in a rotation, and we think that this this is another year when he can [grow]."

Anderson is working on spotting his curve ball, and he hung one to Napoli before trying to sneak a strike one fastball by Gomes. Both pitches were deposited into the far reaches of the ballpark.

Anderson knows he has some things to work on if he intends to fulfill his latest manager's mandate. At 28, he has made only 48 starts in the big leagues. But he's no kid.

"I think I just need to understand the guy that I am," Anderson said. "I'm not going to overpower people. I need to understand that I need to keep the ball on the ground. Next step forward is, I need to pitch deeper into ballgames. Give my team a chance to win more often. I feel like I can do that and pitch in this game for a long time. It's nice that Counsell has that kind of confidence in me."

Looking in the rearview mirror, Anderson said that his Arizona experience was a good one. Over those two seasons, he went 15-13 with a 4.18 ERA, pitching mostly at hitter-friendly Chase Field.

"I think last year was a big learning curve for me," he said. "Hopefully, I can carry it into this year. As a starting pitcher, you're always trying to learn how to get guys out on a more frequent basis. I've just got to keep learning. If you're not learning, you're going to get stagnant, and the next thing you know, you're going to be out of a job."

Certainly, right now he has a job.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.