DENVER — Chase Anderson will be reinstated Sunday and start for the Milwaukee Brewers, who hope he regains his pre-injury form and bolsters their rotation in the final six weeks of the season.
The appearance against the Colorado Rockies will be Anderson’s first for the Brewers since June 28, when he suffered a left oblique strain while swinging the bat.
Colorado left-hander Kyle Freeland (11-7, 3.74 ERA) starts opposite Anderson (6-2, 2.89) in the rubber match of the three-game series.
Anderson made rehab starts on Aug. 8 with Class A Wisconsin, throwing 47 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, and Aug. 13 with Triple-A Colorado Springs when he threw 67 pitches in 4 1/3 frames.
“We feel like we’re past health concerns with this,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “So our decision is do you have him make another (rehab) start so that in his first game, he possibly could go into the eighth inning? That’s the decision. We’re probably saying that’s not a possibility tomorrow, but that he’s ready to pitch.”
Anderson, 29, is 3-3, 4.92 in 11 career starts against the Rockies, including a no-decision in his only start against them this year on April 6 at Miller Park where he allowed one run and three hits in six innings of a 2-1 Milwaukee loss.
This has been a breakthrough season for Anderson. In 90 1/3 innings, he has allowed 73 hits — only eight home runs — with 27 walks and 85 strikeouts. He has limited opposing hitters to a .224 average.
“Chase has thrown 100 good innings for us and important innings and probably has pitched as well as anyone that we have,” Counsell said. “We’re hoping he can get back to that form quickly, and (he) certainly strengthens our rotation.”
Asked to explain Anderson’s success this season, Counsell said: “The curveball’s better. He’s throwing harder. His cutter’s a better pitch. There’s a couple of places that he’s improved. It’s not just one. And I also think he’s in a good place experience-wise where he’s kind of got those two full seasons under his belt, it’s really close to three coming into this year. And I think that’s put him in a spot to have everything kind of click for him.”
Freeland, 24, will face the Brewers for the first time. He was reinstated Tuesday after missing one start while on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain and did not figure in Colorado’s 4-3 loss against Atlanta.
Freeland gave up four hits and three runs in six innings and left with the game tied at 3. In 12 starts at Coors Field this year, Freeland is 6-4, 3.31. He leads major league rookies in wins and ERA, and is second in innings (127 2/3) and opponents batting average (.266).
“What I like about Kyle is he pitches aggressively,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He sets the tone for the at-bat. When he’s locating the fastball and the slider gets in good spots, he’s going to have a good game. I know he doesn’t back down. His intent is to attack. That’s what I like about Kyle. I think that’s always a good plan from a pitching standpoint to be the aggressor and go after hitters.”
Colorado leads the National League wild-card race by one game over Arizona and is 4 1/2 ahead of Milwaukee.