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Blast from the past: the Phillies sign Matt Anderson

Jan 14, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

Matt Anderson

This will likely be the first and the last time we blog about Matt Anderson this year, but I am a sucker for comeback stories so it’s worth a mention. The Phillies signed him. Minor league deal, of course.

For those who are blanking, Anderson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft, selected by the Tigers. Once upon a time he could throw the ball 100 miles per hour. The Tigers rushed him up the ladder in 1998, but it was mostly OK: he embarrassed Single-A and Double-A hitters that summer, and struck out a batter an inning during his major league callup that year. After starting the 1999 season in Toledo, he stuck with the big club as a reliever through the 2003 season, though he was hurt much of the time those last couple of years.

The circumstances of his most famous injury — a torn muscle in his armpit in 2002 — remain clouded.  It was widely reported at the time that he hurt himself during an octopus-throwing contest at Comerica Park.  Really.  It’s a Red Wings thing, for those who don’t know. The team and Anderson denied it at the time, but there never was a truly satisfactory answer for how he got that particular injury at that particular time.

But no matter what caused the injury, after that: wildnerness. Shoulder trouble. Years missed. Independent league ball.  He last saw major league action in a 12-game stint with the Rockies in 2005.  He last pitched organized ball in 2008 in the White Sox system. He’s 34 now. What the Phillies plan on doing with him I have no idea.

But we all love comebacks.  At least when they begin.  Sadly, they almost never end well.  Good luck all the same to you, Matt Anderson.

  1. Utley's Hair - Jan 14, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Hey, the Phightins picked up Cartwright, too?!?!? WOOHOO!!!!! Oh…not THAT Cartwright…

    • Utley's Hair - Jan 14, 2011 at 1:47 PM

      Wow…big time fail on my part there. Hell, I don’t even know WHO the hell I was thinking of there. Need. Nap. Now. Yikes….

  2. Jonny 5 - Jan 14, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Damn, all this happens while I’m trying to do (gasp) worrrrrrk?

    I’ll tell you what they’re doing with this guy. He’s going to be slinging single A ball while everyone else moves up a notch or two. The Phills have guys showing big promise as relievers or even starters. Worley, Bastardo, and i hear Phil Aumount is going to be closing soon, so they’ll have him in AA closing games I think. He was starting last season as an experiment failed,he’s no starting pitcher.

  3. mdpickles - Jan 14, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Kenny Powers has a better chance than Matt Anderson.

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