Predicting the 2023 stats of each Braves player — Ian Anderson

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This continues my series where I predict the 2023 stats of each Braves player, moving on to one of the biggest question marks of the upcoming season — the fifth spot in the rotation. Will it be Ian Anderson, Mike Soroka, or Bryce Elder?

If you missed any of the previous editions of this series, follow the links below.

Ian Anderson’s 2023 Stat Predictions

Ian Anderson needs to completely wipe the 2022 season from his memory and just reset. Following a 2021 campaign in which he was a critical piece to the Braves World Series run, he was clobbered consistently by opponents last season, leading to a demotion to AAA, where things were just as discouraging. To make matters worse, he suffered an arm injury late in the year and was shut down for the remainder of the season.

Anderson clearly needs to develop a third offering. Two isn’t enough for a starting pitcher, even if the two are as quality as Anderson’s fastball/changeup combination. If he doesn’t add a pitch that can move horizontally, it’s going to be difficult for him to rebound.

I’m probably more confident than most in Anderson. I have him winning the battle for the fifth spot coming out of camp and holding onto it. He’s too talented not to; it wasn’t long ago that we raved about him for his performance in the postseason, where he owns a 1.26 ERA over 35.2 innings.

While I hope Soroka can bounce back, I’m not going into the season expecting anything from him. Bryce Elder is also legitimate competition for Anderson in Spring Training; however, I’ve said Anderson would win the job since the 2022 season ended, and I’m not changing now. He could end up being the best fifth starter in baseball.

Ian Anderson’s 2023 Stat Predictions: 12-9, 3.99 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 8.1 K/9, 1.5 fWAR

What are your Ian Anderson stat predictions?

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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