Plucked from Cleveland as Arizona’s first choice in the 1997 expansion draft, Anderson lost six of his first seven decisions in 1998 but rebounded to finish the season with twelve wins. The control specialist allowed just one walk per nine innings — best in the majors — but was victimized by the long ball, surrendering 39 to tie Pedro Astacio for the league lead.
When Arizona inked starters Randy Johnson, Todd Stottlemyre and Armando Reynoso after the season, Anderson was forced into the bullpen. He struggled in his new role, but Stottlemyre’s recurrent injuries opened the door for 18 starts in 1999 and in 2000 Anderson regained a regular spot in the rotation. He continued his characteristic form, winning eleven games while allowing nearly as many home runs (38) as walks (39).
Anderson returned to the Diamondbacks in 2001, confident of his abilities and assured of a spot in the rotation. He hoped to build upon the 11-7 record he recorded the year before, but he performed poorly in part due to injuries, leading to his first losing campaign in three years.