The Little Unit

JMB · May 25, 2005 at 9:52 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Ryan Anderson is baaaaack.

The Little Unit had been pitching in an indy league — and by “pitching,” I mean he had worked in one pre-season game — since being released by the M’s this spring, but the Brewers bought his contract this week and assigned him to Brevard County of the Florida State League.

Here’s a quote from his now-former manager, Ozzie Virgil Jr., “We pitched him this week for an inning in a spring training exhibition game against the San Diego Surf Dawgs and he was unhittable with his fastball at 93-94 and a curveball that should be illegal.”

I’ll, uh, believe it when I see it. And even then I probably won’t believe it.

(Dave asked that I clarify — it’s not that I don’t believe the radar readings, but rather that he’s pitching at all. It’s been so long that it’s hard to imagine, that’s all.)


16 Responses to “The Little Unit”

  1. Basebliman on May 25th, 2005 12:14 pm

    I feel sorry for the guy, not because he’s been injured and may never become a big leaguer, but because he has the nickname “little unit”. That’s not I name I would bestow my biggest enemy… well, my biggest enemy, ok, but not a friend at least.

  2. Roger on May 25th, 2005 12:35 pm

    I feel bad about his injuries, not something you’d wish on any pro athlete. However, a cock-sure, irresponsible and lazy guy is hard to have much empathy for, overall. Mind, that was just his personality as presented by the media, I’ve never met him.

    Be very interesting if anything ever comes of this. I cannot recall, now, what the scouting reports were on him out of high school…was the curveball part of his arsenal back then, or is it something he’s added?

  3. Jim Thomsen on May 25th, 2005 12:57 pm

    I share Jason’s skepticism. If Ryan Anderson could really throw 94, would the Mariners have released him after all the months/years he’s been shut down at various times? You only give up on a player when you believe there’s no chance he’ll get back what he used to have … not when he’s finally turning a corner.

    #2 — The arrogance dates back about seven years. Since then — since the spate of injuries — he’s come across in interviews as someone who has had to painfully pull himself by his bloody fingernails into maturity. It took a while for him to develop the work ethic the Mariners wanted, but he did … and that’s why the team stuck by him for so long during the dark days.

  4. Dave on May 25th, 2005 1:10 pm

    If Ryan Anderson could really throw 94, would the Mariners have released him after all the months/years he’s been shut down at various times?


  5. Jim Thomsen on May 25th, 2005 1:29 pm


  6. Dave on May 25th, 2005 1:39 pm


  7. Evan on May 25th, 2005 2:04 pm

    We have to consider the possibility that it was his release that woke him up and turned him into a dedicated athlete.

    We also have to consider the possibility that nothing ever will.

    Throwing 94 isn’t everything.

  8. IgnatiusReilly on May 25th, 2005 2:30 pm

    More cloak and daggerisms…

    The innocent view might be that throwing 94 doesn’t mean anything, since you want someone to PITCH for you.

    The not-so-innocent view would be that someone witnessed him injecting smack into the eyeballs of third-graders.

  9. Dave on May 25th, 2005 2:39 pm


    I realize its annoying, but its the nature of the beast. =Sorry.

  10. IgnatiusReilly on May 25th, 2005 2:44 pm

    I understand it…but you’re right.

    If you hadn’t been here (online) for awhile and well known in the baseball blogging community though…

    On message boards, you always get those fly-by-nighters swinging through to say “I heard from a reputable source that ______ is going to ______ because _______.” And then, they disappear…giggling like a schoolgirl into that night – either happy that they know something that you don’t, or just getting off on the lie – whatever the case may be.

    But, I understand that if you ever want a job with a major league team, or get interviews, etc. – it behooves you NOT to be Mr. Tell-All. Won’t stop me from wildly speculating and trying to peck away though.

  11. Ken Hanselman on May 25th, 2005 2:46 pm

    I was thinking the other day that Mr. Anderson’s downfall correlates pretty well with the downfall of the M’s. Consider what could have been if a healthy Anderson had been available in 2001, 2002, or 2003…even if he’d been a bullpen guy. He was projected to be the staff anchor from neigh into the future. I can’t help but shake my head and wonder.

  12. Eric on May 25th, 2005 2:50 pm

    #11, or speculate about all the potential trades the Ms turned down because he was untouchable.

  13. IgnatiusReilly on May 25th, 2005 2:51 pm

    Even subtracting injuries, it is impossible to tell. Anderson and Meche were hyped as our one-two-knockout punch pretty hard before injuries. Tough to tell if Meche is the same pitcher he would / could have been, but he certainly isn’t the left-hook of a knockout combo as is.

  14. Ken Hanselman on May 25th, 2005 2:55 pm

    #12 – Yes, that too. Weren’t we offered Gonzo plus prospects from Detroit in 2000? After the first surgery (2001?) the party was pretty much over for both the M’s and Anderson. (Continues to shake head).

  15. John D. on May 26th, 2005 10:17 am

    Re: (# 12 & # 14) TRADING ANDERSON – And, IIRC, Pittsburgh wanted ANDERSON and MECHE for BRIAN GILES. We turned it down. The notorious Mike Schmidt argued that when you get offered a trade like that, you jump through the phone to make it. Seems that we should have.
    Also, I remember some FO dignitary saying, “Ryan Anderson may never make the majors, but if he does, it will be in a Mariner uniform.” Maybe not.

  16. Ivan on May 26th, 2005 10:46 am

    I note from Baseball America that recent M’s farmhand Brett Evert is also on the Brevard Manatees roster after his release from Tacoma.