Busy with life, I was about 18 hours late hearing of the Doug Fister trade. I immediately was giddy while sitting at work thinking of the ‘Strasburg-Gio-Zimmermann-FISTER-Detwiler/Jordan’ rotation. Another piece added to a loaded team, only losing a backup utility guy in Lombardozzi, an unproven young reliever in Ian Krol, and a pitching prospect.
Yes, this is a lopsided trade. There is no other way to describe it. It is not like the Tigers fans are jumping for joy up in Detroit due to some mysterious reason we DC fans know nothing about. This is not a Donovan McNabb-Philadelphia situation. Just browsing through their message boards will show you how upset the fans of Detroit actually are. When the rumor first started hitting yesterday, earlier in the day, that Doug Fister was being traded to the Nationals, fans began speculating who they would get in return. Some heard the Nationals had bundled Werth and Rendon together, others thought it must be Span and Werth. One guy even joked that it must be Bryce Harper. Then, over the hours, disappointment sets in.
But who gives a shit about Tigers fans. Honestly, it brought me an unusual amount of joy reading through the thread, watching the peak of high hopes for some solid starters to add to your lineup to the trough of verbally assaulting a general manager that has received nothing but praise over the years. But why? What is it about Doug Fister? It has to be more than the fact it seems like he had his name legally changed previously to his pornstar stage name, and was too lazy to change it back.
First off, the Nats have a far better, younger pitcher at the 4-spot in the rotation, especially with the bar being set so low by his predecessor, Dan Haren. While Fister did give up more hits last year than he has any other year (giving him a WHIP that I’ve become accustomed to cringe at), he was much more solid in that department in previous years. He also gave up half the number of home runs (14) as Dan Haren (28) in 39 more innings of work. He’s a 6-8, pitch-to-contact pitcher that has a fastball with A LOT of run at around 90 mph. He has 3 other pitches he throws and locates well (curveball, slider, and changeup, the curveball being his favorite). He also has postseason success with a 2.98 playoff ERA.
All of that plus he’s a fun pitcher to watch. I suspect it’ll pretty much be ‘business as usual’ with the position players and the lineup heading into the 2014 season. With a rotation like this, if they can hit like they did at the end of the season, Davey may have just been a year early.