#6 – Doug Fister
The seven-year veteran from Merced, California has fallen quickly from the baseball gods this season. At 31 years of age, the righty picked up two major injuries, since being traded to the Washington Nationals from the Detroit Tigers in 2013.
On March 23, 2014 Fister picked up a right lat strain and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He didn’t come back to the big club until the following May. This May, Fister complained about his pitching arm, and was diagnosed with right forearm tightness, often the codewords for Tommy John surgery. However, instead, Fister came back to the Nationals on June 18th.
That return has not been pleasant for Nats fans. So far, Fister has a 4-7 record with a 4.66 ERA and 55 strikeouts. His struggles in July, going 1-3 with a 4.82 ERA and an opposing batting average of .319 in five starts, contributed to the Nats moving Fister into the bullpen. He didn’t like it, but he went.
And it hasn’t been much better. Fister had a loss and a 6.39 ERA with a .346 opposing batting average in August.
To be fair, Fister does have a fairly decent .263 against lefty bats; however, his .352 against righty bats is killing any chance of Fister making a comeback.
MLB’s web site has projected Fister to end the 2015 season with a 5-8 record and a 4.42 ERA in 114 innings of work. All of this has cost the Nationals $11.4 million this year, a season where they let the New York Mets slip past them in the National League East division. They may not even make the playoffs, as they are behind both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs for the wild card spots.
The evidence is pretty absolute in the deduction that Fister will be taking a severe cut to whatever he thought that he was worth. This contract year was, unfortunately for Fister, a disaster. Don’t expect the Red Sox to get into any form of bidding war for him. Even for a try-out year, they could be making the same mistake that they made with Justin Masterson.