Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson added to the All-Star Game roster

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tyler Anderson throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Saturday, July 2, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Dodgers starting pitcher Tyler Anderson was added to the NL All-Star team as a replacement for Carlos Rodón. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

After the most recent start of his breakout 2022 season, Tyler Anderson was asked whether he had just completed the best three-month stretch of his career.

“I don’t know,” the Dodgers left-hander told reporters. “You probably know better than I do.”

It has been. And on Saturday, it got even better.

Anderson was named to his first All-Star team, picked by Major League Baseball as a replacement on the National League roster for San Francisco Giants pitcher Carlos Rodón, who will be inactive for next week’s event at Dodger Stadium.

Anderson hadn’t been generating much All-Star buzz before the announcement — for most of the season, Julio Urías appeared to be the next most likely Dodgers pitcher to get the nod — and even he acknowledged being surprised when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called him with the news Saturday morning.

“Obviously you hope, but I wasn’t expecting it by any means," Anderson said. "We had plans with my girls to go to Disneyland and the beach for a couple days. But no, we weren’t expecting it. I thought maybe Julio, honestly. I thought maybe Julio should. He was very deserving.”

What was Anderson's initial reaction?

“I figured I shouldn’t go back to bed," he laughed. "Stop pressing snooze and figure out what to do with the rest of the day."

Anderson's numbers certainly make his selection deserving.

He is 10-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 17 games, 15 of them starts. He has thrown 97⅓ innings, the most on the team. And he has mastered a refined changeup since he signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers in March, transforming the journeyman pitcher with a career 4.62 ERA entering the season into one of the most productive starters in the majors.

Yes, his best three months indeed.

“It’s something that, looking at his journey as a big league pitcher, betting on himself and wanting to sign on with the Dodgers, it just worked out really well," Roberts said. “He’s put in a lot of work, a lot of buy-in. For him to ultimately be named an All-Star is something he’ll always remember.”

Anderson is the Dodgers’ fifth selection to this year’s All-Star Game, joining pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin and starting position players Mookie Betts and Trea Turner. The game will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers are tied for the third-most All-Star representatives this year, trailing only the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves, who each have six.

“It’s a huge honor," Anderson said. "And to be able to go with those guys who were so unbelievable, it’s really cool.”

Long before he became a late All-Star addition, Anderson was a late pickup for the Dodgers in March.

A former first-round pick who had played with four organizations over his first six major league seasons, the crafty left-hander initially seemed like a depth addition for the Dodgers, who decided to use him as a bulk reliever out of the bullpen early in the season.

But after a mid-April injury to Andrew Heaney and the loss of several other rotation members in the months that followed, Anderson was handed a starting spot and ran with it.

In May, he carried a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals. In early June, he had a 28-inning scoreless streak that included three consecutive scoreless starts. A month ago, he lost a no-hit bid in the ninth against the Angels (though a scoring change days later charged him with a hit given up in the seventh inning).

He has completed at least five innings in all but two of his 15 starts. And after giving up four runs in three of his last four outings in June, he has responded with a 1.86 ERA in three July outings — including six scoreless innings his last time out Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“For me, it really does just feel like I made a good decision to come here," Anderson said. "Obviously, I’d feel like that either way [with or without the All-Star selection]. But it is just maybe a little validation. Going into the offseason, there were opportunities to go other places and maybe go for more years. But instead, took a chance to come to this team and try to be on a winning team this year.”

And though Anderson might not acknowledge it himself, his All-Star-caliber production has been a big reason why.

“You obviously try to enjoy the time when you’re there," he said, "but obviously the main goal is trying to finish the season.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.