With Drew Smyly officially transferred to the 60-day disabled list, should the Seattle Mariners consider bringing Doug Fister back to the Pacific Northwest?
It’s been an interesting few days for the Seattle Mariners and their starting rotation. First, it was revealed Drew Smyly would miss six-to-eight weeks with a left flexor strain and then Felix Hernandez was pulled on opening day, after tweaking his groin.
Fortunately for the Mariners, Hernandez is expected to make his next start. However, the potential ramifications of missing between seven and 11 starts by Smyly was confirmed, by his official transfer to the 60-day disabled listed.
As things stand, Ariel Miranda will slot in as the fourth starter for the Mariners’ rotation. Scott Servais will understandably hope Miranda can repeat his production of last year in Seattle, when he recorded a 3.54 ERA and 5-2 record in 11 games, including 10 starts.
However, what if the 28-year old is unable to replicate last season’s success? The Mariners need a backup plan/option, and the answer could reside with former draft pick, Doug Fister.
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Fister previously pitched for the Mariners between 2009-11, when he recorded a 3.81 ERA and a 12-30 record in 59 starts. It was only when he left Seattle, that results started to go his way.
The 33-year old’s next step was in Detroit, where he went 32-20 in 68 starts, while recording a 3.29 ERA and 1.191 WHIP. However, it was in Washington where he really excelled.
During his two years in the Nation’s capital, Fister went 21-13 in 40 starts, while registering a 3.10 ERA. This included the 2014 season, when he set career bests with 16 wins and a 2.41 ERA, resulting in him finishing eighth in voting for the NL Cy Young award.
However, for all the Merced, California native has managed to achieve, his last stop in Houston has resulted in the worst production of his career (save for his win-loss percentage). He started the 2016 campaign well enough, but faded badly during the second half of the season and finished with a career-worst 4.64 ERA.
In addition, Fister has seen a dip during the last two years, from his earlier standing as a strong groundball pitcher. This leads to the question of if his career is now on the decline?
Some scouts believe the 2006 seventh round draft pick merely wore down after battling injuries during the two previous years. As such, there is some hope that he can rebound.
With this in mind, the Mariners could use Fister’s recent struggles as the opportunity to bring him in on a cheap deal. If this is possible, he’s worth a gamble, while also adding more depth and experience to the starting rotation.
What’s your position regarding Fister? Would you like to see him back in Seattle, or are you fine with the Mariners’ current options until Smyly returns? Share your thoughts in the comments section.