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Doug Fister Traded to the Nationals

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Aside from last year, Fister has never been over .500 in his MLB career. He's 29 and an off-speed pitcher. He's not getting better. Once he loses a couple mph, he's Jamie Moyer. And as tall and lanky as he is and with his pitching repertoire, I seriously suspect DD thinks he's an injury waiting to happen at his age.

Hmmmm.....6'8" RH pitcher. Who is not a power pitcher. Isn't that the definition of low injury risk? He has no obvious injury risk to him.

Let's not go crazy and put down Fister to justify a DD trade. Fister was exceptional for the Tigers the past 2.5 years. If you argue he is going to get worse or get injured.....then lets hear your thoughts on the future of Verlander who lost 2-3 mph last year, or Scherzer or Sanchez who have high injury risks right now.

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Fister has already had better results than stuff, so I guess it's not that surprising that DD would move him before he declines. I'm not at all convinced that his decline is imminent though.

Also, I don't give a crap about his win/loss record. He has had some of the worst run support imaginable.

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Just to add some discussion to the Fister possibly being overrated theme, his WHIP took a major jump last year...mostly because of an increased amount of hits given up. Some of that was due to a high BABIP.

But this could be an indication of decline. He could be one of those guys like Carlos Silva or Joe Mays...guys without overwhelming stuff but were able to get by on a good sinker for a few years in their primes. If Fister loses any more velocity in his age 30 season (entirely possible...if not probable), he could get bad pretty quickly.

Silva or Mays never had a run of WHIPs like Fister did for 4 years. All under 1.30. Jose Lima, no. Esteban Loaiza....no either. Those 2 just had 1-2 great seasons. Fister has been very good every season. He is more likely to take a step up in the NL, and if ever finds a good defensive ballclub to pitch for....

There is a lot of evidence for tall pitchers to take longer to reach consistency. Over 6'6" is considered a problem like Josh Johnson, Jon Rauch, Randy Johnson, etc.... I would be betting on Fister to improve rather than regress over the next 2-3 seasons.

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Never knew we had so many scouts on this site.

Coming from someone who has a lot of strong opinions that is a silly thing to say. If you don't like our opinions....then leave and spend your time reading "official" scouting reports rather than listening to amateur scouts here.

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Silva or Mays never had a run of WHIPs like Fister did for 4 years. All under 1.30. Jose Lima, no. Esteban Loaiza....no either. Those 2 just had 1-2 great seasons. Fister has been very good every season. He is more likely to take a step up in the NL, and if ever finds a good defensive ballclub to pitch for....

There is a lot of evidence for tall pitchers to take longer to reach consistency. Over 6'6" is considered a problem like Josh Johnson, Jon Rauch, Randy Johnson, etc.... I would be betting on Fister to improve rather than regress over the next 2-3 seasons.

I'm not directly comparing him to Silva/Mays. He's better than both of those guys, no question. I'm just saying...he has the kind of stuff that makes a drop off the cliff a lot more possible than looking at his last three years alone would suggest. I think more GMs in this league realize that than message board fans would realize. Message boards I think are a little bit too biased towards the stats/"SABR" side because that's all they have to go on. Baseball executives have first-hand access to scouting reports. I think there is more concern about Fister than some people realize.

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Fister has already had better results than stuff, so I guess it's not that surprising that DD would move him before he declines. I'm not at all convinced that his decline is imminent though.

Also, I don't give a crap about his win/loss record. He has had some of the worst run support imaginable.

That is a depressing point to me. DD overvalues power arms. There is value to having slower pitchers in the rotation and bullpen....especially during a game and I believe during a 3-game series as well. Just as there is value to a lefty in the rotation.

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I don't like the trade because I thought another prospect should have come back and I thought they should have been able to get Skole or Taylor.

But DD is old school and had holes to fill on the roster so he filled them. The deal probably saves an additional six million since Boone Logan is going for around 5 million and Betencourt signed for a couple million!

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It's going to come down to Ray- would people feel better if he was rated as a top 15 prospect by the scouting media? Either the prospect community is way off in their value of Ray or the Tigers are way off.

Krol will probably be a fine piece in the bullpen-his numbers looked really good in the minors. Utility guy is a utility guy who may or may not get better. Still, they are probably a win or two worse now for 2014 having made this move.

Payroll should be about $143 million now and they could still end up cutting Coke and Kelly to save another $2 million. Technically, he's right they won't cut payroll if they sign a closer like Wilson to a $10 million deal- that would put them right at their payroll from last year. The team will likely be worse if that's the only other move they do, though.

Lombardozzi seems like a throw in to me. Krol might be OK, but young relievers don't project well and I don't particularly like getting them in trades. So, it all comes down to Ray for me and I'm hoping he's a better prospect than the online scouting community thinks. I guess I didn't expect a blue chip prospect for Fister, but I'd feel better if they received another solid prospect instead of Lombardozzi.

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Not a fan of this move either.

Any deal that has us receiving prospects in general makes me nervous. DD has shown the ability to make good trades for established but undervalued players like Guilien, Fister and Sanchez, but he seems to consistently misjudge prospects, particularly pitchers. I still remember him raving about Ryan Perry and Fransisco Cruceta...

Add the really terrible draft they just had and its hard to understand what they're thinking.

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I'm not directly comparing him to Silva/Mays. He's better than both of those guys, no question. I'm just saying...he has the kind of stuff that makes a drop off the cliff a lot more possible than looking at his last three years alone would suggest. I think more GMs in this league realize that than message board fans would realize. Message boards I think are a little bit too biased towards the stats/"SABR" side because that's all they have to go on. Baseball executives have first-hand access to scouting reports. I think there is more concern about Fister than some people realize.
I can see where you are coming from. I just personally don't agree with it. I think Fister has the goods to improve. His tall height creates a plane that is extremely tough on hitters. 90 mph with downward plane is much harder to hit than Roy Oswalt 95 mph. Throw in a sinker and I actually think any comparisons to a Jamie Moyer are tremendous compliments going forward for Fister.

And Fisters FB velocities haven't changed in the last 5years according to Fangraphs

09-88.4

10-88.3

11-89.6

12-88.8

13-88.8

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Coming from someone who has a lot of strong opinions that is a silly thing to say. If you don't like our opinions....then leave and spend your time reading "official" scouting reports rather than listening to amateur scouts here.

Why spend time reading the scouting reports when I can just wait for you guys to repeat them?

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I can see where you are coming from. I just personally don't agree with it. I think Fister has the goods to improve. His tall height creates a plane that is extremely tough on hitters. 90 mph with downward plane is much harder to hit than Roy Oswalt 95 mph. Throw in a sinker and I actually think any comparisons to a Jamie Moyer are tremendous compliments going forward for Fister.

And Fisters FB velocities haven't changed in the last 5years according to Fangraphs

09-88.4

10-88.3

11-89.6

12-88.8

13-88.8

I don't care about the averages, when it comes to velocity I want to know what a guy's best FB is, not how much he might be adding and subtracting (that's important too but not to the question at hand). Look at Doug's best top pitches from the range chart below and he's definitely never recaptured the peaks he hit in '11 and was off a bit in '13, though it does look like he did recover somewhat at the end of the season. But it does look like his arm was 'in and out' a bit more last season. Was this enough to put the organization and other GMs off his bandwagon?

http://www.fangraphs.com/fgraphs/9425_P_FA_20130929.png

9425_P_FA_20130929.png

Edited by Gehringer_2

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Why spend time reading the scouting reports when I can just wait for you guys to repeat them?

1st.....you would note that scouting reports on pitchers always trend to the positive. In speed, in upside, and in "best-case" comparisons.

So when you get amateurs reading reports and dissecting them.....you get something closer to the real thing. So when they say Robbie Ray throws 97.....then you have an amateur like me concluding he pitches like Drew Smyly and Phil Coke who hit 95.5 and 96.8 in 2013. So you should be able to deduce that Robbie Ray more than likely throws 90-93 if he is a SP. And 93-96 if he is a RP. Which is good....but nothing to salivate over. So after taking a look at his minor league results....his lowest WHIP was 1.20. That is good but doesn't scream can't miss prospect. And he has given up 30 HR in 337 minor league innings. That is a lot for a supposed power arm in A-/A+/AA where batters power hasn't developed yet.

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I can see where you are coming from. I just personally don't agree with it. I think Fister has the goods to improve. His tall height creates a plane that is extremely tough on hitters. 90 mph with downward plane is much harder to hit than Roy Oswalt 95 mph. Throw in a sinker and I actually think any comparisons to a Jamie Moyer are tremendous compliments going forward for Fister.

And Fisters FB velocities haven't changed in the last 5years according to Fangraphs

09-88.4

10-88.3

11-89.6

12-88.8

13-88.8

Those are lower than I even thought. Just shows you what little room for error guys like Fister have. If he even loses 1 mph, people are going to start teeing up.

I'm still perplexed by this deal, though. Fister will be very cheap next year, and the Nats are getting a good deal regardless. I think we should have gotten someone with higher upside for him. Lombardozzi has some upside, but at most, we got three question marks.

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Fister has already had better results than stuff, so I guess it's not that surprising that DD would move him before he declines. I'm not at all convinced that his decline is imminent though.

Also, I don't give a crap about his win/loss record. He has had some of the worst run support imaginable.

The question always has been which pitcher Dombrowski would decide to move. It's been talked about mostly in terms of who is going to cost what and how long the team controls each etc., but I still tend to think this is a pure play on who Dave thinks is going to win the most games going forward short term - next season - while Scherzer is still here.

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Does anyone know of an aging curve, if there is any, for soft tossing right handed starters like Fister? I know Arroyo has slowly lost 2 MPH through the years and is now only tossing 87 MPH and his FIP and xFIP really took a dive after he hit 30. But, he's still a useful starter and that's only a 1 pitcher sample and not even the best one b/c Arroyo is not nearly the ground ball pitcher that Fister is.

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D.D. will be the commissioner next year, he's just preemptively bringing a bit more "parity" to the game.

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I don't care about the averages, when it comes to velocity I want to know what a guy's best FB is, not how much he might be adding and subtracting (that's important too but not to the question at hand). Look at Doug's best top pitches from the range chart below and he's definitely never recaptured the peaks he hit in '11 and was off a bit in '13, though it does look like he did recover somewhat at the end of the season. But it does look like his arm was a bit 'in and out' a bit more last season. Was this enough to put the organization and other GMs off his bandwagon?

When the guy isn't a power arm.....you don't worry about max velocity. You worry about average velocity and the results he gets from his velocity. Go look at Verlander and tell me you have less concern on him even though he has lost average velocity in each of the past 4 seasons. Same for Scherzer and his "max" effort delivery. He also lost 1 mph this season. Not a factor in all 3 cases. Anibal Sanchez had an uptick in velocity of over 1 mph in 2013. Doesn't matter. There is no 1 out of the 5 SP that I worry about losing velocity in 2014.

Injuries is the only concern on any of them, and that could also affect velocity. I worry about Scherzer #1 because of the delivery. And Anibal Sanchez because of the Tommy John in 2003, and the shoulder issues in 2007/2008/2009 and 2013. F

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Does anyone know of an aging curve, if there is any, for soft tossing right handed starters like Fister? I know Arroyo has slowly lost 2 MPH through the years and is now only tossing 87 MPH and his FIP and xFIP really took a dive after he hit 30. But, he's still a useful starter and that's only a 1 pitcher sample and not even the best one b/c Arroyo is not nearly the ground ball pitcher that Fister is.

I don't. My opinion on Fister is he is different though due to his height. A delayed peak due to command / repeatable mechanics on a pitcher >6'6". And due to the improvement in downward plane for the same reason. I think Fister is a likely candidate to go against the curve for soft-tossing RH starters.

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When the guy isn't a power arm.....you don't worry about max velocity. You worry about average velocity and the results he gets from his velocity. Go look at Verlander and tell me you have less concern on him even though he has lost average velocity in each of the past 4 seasons. Same for Scherzer and his "max" effort delivery. He also lost 1 mph this season. Not a factor in all 3 cases. Anibal Sanchez had an uptick in velocity of over 1 mph in 2013. Doesn't matter. There is no 1 out of the 5 SP that I worry about losing velocity in 2014.

Injuries is the only concern on any of them, and that could also affect velocity. I worry about Scherzer #1 because of the delivery. And Anibal Sanchez because of the Tommy John in 2003, and the shoulder issues in 2007/2008/2009 and 2013. F

Two points. Yes I don't care how hard a soft tosser actually throws, but I do care when any pitcher *loses* off whatever his top velocity has been where he has been successful because that indicates changes taking place in his arm physiology and those are almost always a bad thing.

2- Verlander is the classic case why I don't look at averages. JV decides how hard he wants to throw game by game and inning by inning. That doesn't really tell you what he has in the arm when he needs it at any given time. By Sept when he had his mechanics issues ironed out his top end was right back where it had been pushing 98, despite the lower average number for the season - particularly April and May.

EDIT: of course another thing to throw into the mix wrt Tiger pitcher velocities in 13 is that there was talk this spring that the radar gun/guns at COPA may have been a little hot in the past and maybe got retuned to the lower range of their acceptable calibration ranges as JL wanted to de-emphasize pitchers watching the radar. Did it happen? If so which guns get used by what stat collection orgs?

Edited by Gehringer_2

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No matter what this was a bad day for Tigers fans. We're not as good as we were or thought we were Monday morning. Monday morning we thought we had a big asset in Fister. Whether we got fleeced in the deal or whether he was traded because he's damaged goods doesn't change the fact that we no longer have the big asset we had or thought we had. It's like waking up and finding out that he tore his ACL and would be out for the year.

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