Why say no to Fister
May 3, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams (9) takes Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister (58) and replaces him with Washington Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark (57) (not pictured) during the 7th inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
The probably soon-to-be-former National isn’t known for his overwhelming stuff. Fister’s fastball averages roughly around 86 MPH and relies on using his other pitches in conjunction with his fastball to get hitters out. And if he has trouble locating his pitches then expect more of the same issues from 2015 spilling over into 2016.
Houston’s front office also may not feel the need to add another starter however with the plethora of arms waiting in the minors. Between Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez, Michael Feliz, and Dan Straily, there is no shortage of arms the organization can turn to fill in a void in the rotation. It all depends on if the Astros feel confident that they are ready for the job.
That is also not including veteran right-hander Scott Feldman, who is scheduled to be ready for spring training after his sprained right shoulder heals. Let’s not forget that the Astros have $8 million invested into Feldman for 2016 and may feel signing Fister is a redundant move.
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But if the Astros medical staff isn’t comfortable with Feldman’s progress as the winter unfolds than it is possible that they will be willing to pay for Fister, who shouldn’t demand anything more than a short-term contract as a 31-year old pitcher coming off a down season.
As we all know depending on unproven and rehabbing pitchers are sometimes a gamble. There isn’t a guarantee. But as the old saying goes “you can never have enough pitching.” This may ring true for general manager Jeff Luhnow as he goes about the 2016 Astros construction. The benefits for both sides are there: Fister may use 2016 to rebuild his value for another shot at free agency in the next year while the Astros front office can solidify the rotation while buying time for their top pitching prospects to be eased into the major league roster.
**Statistics are provided by Fangraphs.com**
**Contract information is provided by SportTrac.com**