I’ve been meaning to do one of these posts on Doug Fister since I started a couple weeks ago. In an attempt to be topical, I figured I’d get it out of the way today, since he’s still in the playoffs and all.
First, a quick rundown of this year’s stats (with the Mariners):
21 starts, 3-12 record, 146 innings pitched (averaging a shade under 7 innings per start), 32 walks, 89 strikeouts, 1.17 WHIP, 3.33 ERA.
I’ve pretty much been on Fister’s jock since the beginning of the 2010 season, when I compared him to Greg Maddux. That may have been a reach at the time, but now that gap has CERTAINLY gotten a lot shorter.
Anyway, with those stats I listed above, the Mariners received in trade: Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Chance Ruffin, and minor league third baseman prospect Francisco Martinez (the supposed Crown Jewel of the trade and the only guy we got whose name doesn’t start with C).
Wells is a guy who can play all three outfield positions (though, will ultimately end up in one of the corners), whose got a little pop in his bat, and will either be a good player for us, a good player for another team (if we trade him), or a bust. Notice I said “good”. Not “great”.
Furbush was WILDLY hit-or-miss in our starting rotation this season. Admittedly, I wasn’t able to watch him all that closely, but when I did see him he struck me as the kind of guy who can’t control his stuff. Just didn’t seem to me like he knew where his ball was going to end up. But, since he was usually somewhere within the strike zone, he’d get crushed on occasion. There were flashes of goodness from him too, but I doubt he’ll end up as anything better than a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. Still, his ceiling is being a GREAT left-handed specialist, so I guess it’s not all doom and gloom.
Ruffin made it into 13 games this year and struck out 15. Too soon to tell, but again, you’re looking at another bullpen guy at best. They say he COULD be a closer, but his low-90s fastball doesn’t really impress-a-me much.
Meaning: if this Francisco Martinez (which, honestly, sounds like a name someone just made up when asked to quickly pick a Latino-sounding name of a baseball player) guy doesn’t pan out as the stud we’re all hoping he’ll be (at third base no less!), then we essentially got a Meh return for a guy in Doug Fister who did this with Detroit:
10 starts, 8-1 record, 70.1 innings pitched (averaging a shade over 7 innings per start), 5 walks, 57 strikeouts, 0.84 WHIP, 1.79 ERA
That’s not even taking into account Fister winning Game 5 in New York against the Yankees to move on from Round 1 of the MLB playoffs; nor is it taking into account the equally-impressive Game 3 victory vs. Texas (with Detroit already down 2-0), guaranteeing a second Verlander start (which the Tigers just won last night, to bring the series to within 3-2 as they head back to Texas, with Fister poised to start the Game 7 if it reaches that point).
Oh yeah, and Fister is also under club control for a few more years.
The man has done nothing but work hard and improve upon his craft every year he’s been in professional baseball. I’m not gonna lie to you, it stinks that we had to let him go. Doug Fister could’ve been the greatest Number 3 pitcher in baseball for the Mariners. Instead, he’s a bundle of prospects that may or may not make a fuckload of difference a couple years down the road.
I’m usually one of those guys who either forgets about ex-Mariners once they’re traded (at best), or actively roots against ex-Mariners (at worst). I rarely find myself caring – in the positive sense of the word – for guys once they’ve been swapped for prospects. But, Fister was special. There’s absolutely nothing to dislike about the guy. I wish him nothing but the best for the rest of his career and I hope he wins the World Series this year.