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Kade Anderson fully back from Tommy John surgery, ready to go in 2024

Kade Anderson has been waiting for this moment since he was in eighth grade. 

He’s healthy and in an LSU uniform. 

Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery back in April 2022, the 6-2, 175-pound left-hander is throwing without any restrictions as the 2024 LSU season opener approaches. 

“No limitations,” he said. “I was ready to go from the start of fall, even a couple of weeks before that.  I wasn’t that nervous because I was a good 17 months from surgery. It just felt good to be back in the mix. 

“(LSU pitching coach) Nate Yeskie got me to believe in myself and my arm and we just decided to get after it; throwing hard and feeling for pitches. College is a completely different level and the tools (Yeskie) has given me mentally has just been great. He has helped build my self confidence and how to go after batters in certain counts and trusting my stuff.”

Anderson had a solid fall for the Tigers, throwing six innings, allowing three runs on three hits with nine strikeouts. 

“When fall ball started it was simply making sure all my pitches were there and getting a feel for the curveball again,” he said. 

The fall season also saw Anderson go up against his own teammates, one of the best hitting teams in the country a year ago, something he said can only help him get better. 

“It’s one of the biggest reasons I came to LSU,” he said. “I wanted to compete with the best dudes and fight every day. I get hints from my teammates hitting every day. It’s been fun and I continue to learn each day.”

Anderson said his toughest LSU bats to go up against this past fall was sophomore outfielder Paxton Kling alongwith infielder Michael Braswell.

“Two really good bats that are going to have big years,” he said. 

One of the positive effects post surgery Anderson said was a jump up in his velocity. 

“I’m able to do what I did (pre-surgery), if not better and my arm is healthy now,” he said. “That’s just a great feeling.”

Anderson said he is currently 92-94 with the fastball, 84-86 change-up and curveball is 78-81. 

“It’s all about honing my three pitches and continuing to get better with them,” he said. “It’s worked so far. The plan we are working on or the approach was me starting all my outings this fall. Start games and build up the arm. I would love to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.”

In one of the most unique numbers in the recent history of LSU baseball, Anderson is one of 10 left-handed arms the Tigers have on its staff headed into the season opener Feb. 16 against VMI. 

“I don’t think any pitcher has been on a staff with this many lefties,” he joked. “We build off of each other, the entire pitching staff has done that. It’s been great. 

“There are three teammates that I continue to try and pick their brains to help make me a better pitcher. Thatcher Hurd has taught me a lot about pitch sequence and has helped with my change-up. He was one of the reasons I changed my grip on that pitch. Chase Shores has helped with my arm angles and has helped me mentally get better at the game. Gage Jump just does everything right. It’s easy to pick up on things he does. I try to mock what he does.”

Anderson gave a brief preview of what LSU fans can expect from Jump when he hits the mound as well. 

“Gage Jump fills up the strike zone with three pitches that he can locate anywhere in the zone. He goes right at batters and has the starter’s mentality. He strikes out a lot of hitters and it’s exciting to watch him throw. I expect to see him throwing a lot of innings this year.”

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