Sox claim Doug Fister

Plympton91

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For all the people who have ever pointed out that the manager's in game decision making gets a disproporrionate amount of credit and blame relative to more big picture managerial decisions, this is exhibit A. John Farrell stuck with Doug Fister when few would have. This is a feather in his managerial cap.
 

BaseballJones

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Fister's last 7 starts:

7/31 vs Cle: 7.2 ip, 5 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 5 k
8/6 vs ChW: 6.1 ip, 8 h, 3 r, 3 er, 0 bb, 7 k
8/14 vs Cle: 4.1 ip, 7 h, 5 r, 5 er, 4 bb, 5 k
8/22 at Cle: 9.0 ip, 1 h, 1 r, 1 er, 2 bb, 6 k
8/27 vs Bal: 7.0 ip, 5 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 7 k
9/1 at NYY: 7.0 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 1 er, 1 bb, 5 k
9/6 vs Tor: 7.0 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 1 er, 3 bb, 9 k

TOTALS: 48.1 ip, 34 h, 15 r, 15 er, 14 bb, 44 k, 2.79 era, 0.99 whip, 8.2 k/9
Last 4: 30 ip, 14 h, 5 r, 5 er, 8 bb, 27 k, 1.50 era, 0.73 whip, 8.1 k/9

Kind of waiting for him to turn into a pumpkin, but dude has been awesome. After his HORRIFIC start with this team (6.75 era through 4 appearances), he's been fantastic.
 

Plympton91

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Years from now Yankee fans will talk about Doug Fister the way we talk about Aaron Small. (edit: Never mind, wrong Yankee pilot)
 

Lowrielicious

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For all the people who have ever pointed out that the manager's in game decision making gets a disproporrionate amount of credit and blame relative to more big picture managerial decisions, this is exhibit A. John Farrell stuck with Doug Fister when few would have. This is a feather in his managerial cap.
When not making a move is the right move then John is your man.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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For all the people who have ever pointed out that the manager's in game decision making gets a disproporrionate amount of credit and blame relative to more big picture managerial decisions, this is exhibit A. John Farrell stuck with Doug Fister when few would have. This is a feather in his managerial cap.
Did he have another option? Not as in 'it was dictated from above' (though it may have been), but who was going to eat those innings otherwise? Maybe someone sent him a text on his Apple Watch.
 

TFisNEXT

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Doug Fister is likely one of the top reasons this team is still in first place a week into September. He's come up absolutely huge during a stretch when the rest of the rotation has not been sharp and has gone deep into games multiple times after a bullpen marathon game.

Put me on the long list of those who did not see this coming.
 

uk_sox_fan

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Did he have another option? Not as in 'it was dictated from above' (though it may have been), but who was going to eat those innings otherwise? Maybe someone sent him a text on his Apple Watch.
Sorry but what kind of revisionist crap is this? For the other options see 90% of the posts here in the first two weeks after the ASB. The Farrell haters and Fister loathers could not comprehend why he was still on the roster when perfectly good options like Velasquez languished in AAA. Calls for Henry Owens were demanded (though they can't have seen his games in Portland much) and near-universal opinion was that with all the off days the Sox should go with a 4-man until Price comes back in a couple of weeks. Regardless, Fister was an incomprehensible choice.

So hate on Farrell for sticking with Barnes a batter too long or not trotting out Kimbrell in the 8th or for whatever happened not to work out on a given night but don't say he had no choice on Fister. The man went against the tide in a big way and should get credit for it.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Revisionist crap? Please quote when I loathed Fister. And if you or anyone else thought Owens or Velasquez were 'perfectly good options', I'm not sure what to tell you other than that we disagree and have since the need for another SP was established. I'm also going to need quotes on 'near universal opinion' for a 4 man rotation on the board. Not that that's in any way relevant. I'll give Farrell all the credit in the world if he had something to do with the reclamation (I tend to credit Bannister and Willis, but pitching is Farrell's forte), but when a SP was needed, Owens and Velasquez were not a better option. Fister's bullpen innings meant shit for various reasons.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Agree. Fister was signed and promoted and given to Farrell to use and he used him. Unless we know that the manager has say over the roster he gets no extra credit for recognizing this talent. On the contrary, the scout or gm who suggested Fister might still have something left should be lauded.
 

TheoShmeo

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Aaron Small does indeed come to mind...but at least Fister had enjoyed some success in the big leagues before he started winning on a division contender (and indeed had done that before too).

No matter, I suspect that a very high percentage of us thought he was hopeless and that keeping him around after those first several starts was lunacy.

Hat tip to DD and JF, and it's nice to have been wrong. (So far).
 

Byrdbrain

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Revisionist crap? Please quote when I loathed Fister. And if you or anyone else thought Owens or Velasquez were 'perfectly good options', I'm not sure what to tell you other than that we disagree and have since the need for another SP was established. I'm also going to need quotes on 'near universal opinion' for a 4 man rotation on the board. Not that that's in any way relevant. I'll give Farrell all the credit in the world if he had something to do with the reclamation (I tend to credit Bannister and Willis, but pitching is Farrell's forte), but when a SP was needed, Owens and Velasquez were not a better option. Fister's bullpen innings meant shit for various reasons.
I think UK came across too strong in his response to you but there is no doubt that most people were calling for Velazquez. While he isn't "established" from what we had seen this year he was certainly better than Fister had been.
People were also calling for Owens(which was dumb) and Johnson(who was just coming back from injury), those weren't reasonable choices but Velazquez absolutely was.

I don't know who gets the credit for fixing Fister but it isn't unreasonable to give manager John some credit for sticking with him when it was far from obvious that Fister had anything left at all.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't know who gets the credit for fixing Fister but it isn't unreasonable to give manager John some credit for sticking with him when it was far from obvious that Fister had anything left at all.
This is a perfect example of "they have more information than we do".

I don't know who gets the credit either, but clearly they signed him believing they could fix him. And they did. Just in time, as it turns out. While we on the outside might have been screaming for him to be DFA and Velazquez called up to take Price's spot, the manager (and the GM) knew better because they knew more than we did. They knew what Fister was doing off the field to fix himself and how close he was to putting it together even when he hadn't done it on the field yet.
 

sean1562

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I was 100% astonished to see him keep getting starts after his abysmal beginning. Happy to be wrong. Followed Fister a lot when he was with the nats(my nl team) and always seemed like a humble teammate. Everyone in nats fandom always wished him the best, so happy to see him doing well
 

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There really isn't much of a comparison. Aaron Small was a terrible pitcher who had one hot streak for one year with the MFY's. Doug Fister was a really good pitcher from 2011-2014. He had an injury plagued 2015 and a shitty 2016. It's not really that far-fetched that, at 33, he can return to being the type of pitcher he was a few years ago.
 

shaggydog2000

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There really isn't much of a comparison. Aaron Small was a terrible pitcher who had one hot streak for one year with the MFY's. Doug Fister was a really good pitcher from 2011-2014. He had an injury plagued 2015 and a shitty 2016. It's not really that far-fetched that, at 33, he can return to being the type of pitcher he was a few years ago.
It's a sliding scale of likelihood. I'd say this being the new normal is unlikely. Few pitchers are as good at 33 as they are at 28, especially for extended periods of time. It's not impossible though. It's much less likely to be a crappy pitcher and suddenly get good in your 30's. I'm pretty happy with what we're getting out of Fister, but I'm emotionally prepared for him turning back into a pumpkin. Hope he doesn't of course, but have to be prepared for that situation, because it is the most likely one.
 

effectivelywild

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It's a sliding scale of likelihood. I'd say this being the new normal is unlikely. Few pitchers are as good at 33 as they are at 28, especially for extended periods of time. It's not impossible though. It's much less likely to be a crappy pitcher and suddenly get good in your 30's. I'm pretty happy with what we're getting out of Fister, but I'm emotionally prepared for him turning back into a pumpkin. Hope he doesn't of course, but have to be prepared for that situation, because it is the most likely one.
I agree that there's a chance that he regresses, but Fangraphs had an interesting article on him. It looks like he gained some velocity back from what he lost last year and now his velocities, while not nearly elite, are back to where they were when he was "good". They also noted an apparent mechanical tweak that has him throwing more like he did at 28 than when we saw him earlier this year as a horrific reliever. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/doug-fister-is-all-the-way-back-from-the-brink/
 

shaggydog2000

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I agree that there's a chance that he regresses, but Fangraphs had an interesting article on him. It looks like he gained some velocity back from what he lost last year and now his velocities, while not nearly elite, are back to where they were when he was "good". They also noted an apparent mechanical tweak that has him throwing more like he did at 28 than when we saw him earlier this year as a horrific reliever. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/doug-fister-is-all-the-way-back-from-the-brink/
I read that too, and it is a good explanation for his recent success. It's not smoke, mirrors, and BABIP. His stuff and performance has returned to a similar state to when he was previously successful. That's good. But the question is if a guy who was previously injured and had a long history of not performing like that is likely to stay in that current state (and by long I mean two years, which is decently long for a MLB pitcher). Will he get injured again, will he lose his current grasp on his mechanics, etc? I guess it's a good thing that he suceeds with a 90 mph fastball instead of a 99 mph one, in terms of wear and tear. So we may disagree on the exact level of likelihood that he regresses.
 

effectivelywild

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I read that too, and it is a good explanation for his recent success. It's not smoke, mirrors, and BABIP. His stuff and performance has returned to a similar state to when he was previously successful. That's good. But the question is if a guy who was previously injured and had a long history of not performing like that is likely to stay in that current state (and by long I mean two years, which is decently long for a MLB pitcher). Will he get injured again, will he lose his current grasp on his mechanics, etc? I guess it's a good thing that he suceeds with a 90 mph fastball instead of a 99 mph one, in terms of wear and tear. So we may disagree on the exact level of likelihood that he regresses.
It's true, especially because mechanics can be such a fickle thing. And since he lives at 90, as the article noted, he doesn't have much room for error. He needs everything to be crisp. Hopefully our pitching coaching staff recognize what mechanics he "needs" and can keep him in line.
 

Al Zarilla

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Good article effectivelywild. I hadn't realized his fastball velocity was up this year, all the way to 89.8 mph. But, we all know it's location, location, location. His delivery where he arches his back now and throws more across his body, like 2013, good find by Fangraphs also. We had heard about his moving across the rubber on his setup. But, in 2013 he was all the way to the 3B side of the rubber, like this year before he moved all the way to the 1B side. Hope the big dude can keep it up. You always wonder how much is mental and how much physical when a player makes a change.
 

AbbyNoho

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I guess it's a good thing that he suceeds with a 90 mph fastball instead of a 99 mph one, in terms of wear and tear.
Is this a thing that has been proven to be true? I recall Tim Wakefield vehemently rejecting this premise saying something about how he throws softer but he still throwing as hard as he can. I just imagine it has more to do with mechanics than the actual velocity, even if mechanics and velocity are often linked.
 

shaggydog2000

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Is this a thing that has been proven to be true? I recall Tim Wakefield vehemently rejecting this premise saying something about how he throws softer but he still throwing as hard as he can. I just imagine it has more to do with mechanics than the actual velocity, even if mechanics and velocity are often linked.
This article found evidence to support harder throwers going on the DL the following season:

http://www.fangraphs.com/tht/velocitys-relationship-with-pitcher-arm-injuries/

For Wakefield, I think he was saying more that he didn't have this rubber arm that everyone attributed to him. He got sore like everybody else after pitching and couldn't be thrown out there in relief in between starts just because he threw the knuckler.
 

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What that it? Seems maybe some interesting field positioning might have contributed a couple of runs?

Or was Fister-rella just bad / poor control / ineffective tonight? I didn't see the game...
He was bad.
It was one outing. Let's see what happens next time out before we going back to hating him.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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He responds well to hate...
He has 3(?) more starts to figure out if he should be in the rotation. Even during his great stretch run he suffered poor first innings so that should be considered when constructing the playoffs pen
 

Byrdbrain

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He wasn't good at all but he was horribly squeezed by the HP Ump. If he gets a decent strike zone he might have been OK but with his stuff he couldn't overcome the suck.
 

TheoShmeo

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This is, finally, the Sox version of Aaron Small
Sadly, Fister is now looking like the Real Aaron Small.

Assuming the Sox hold on, JF will not have an obvious choice for the third starter role. If forced to choose right now, I would go with Porcello. I know there's some recency bias there with the last performances of Fister and Porcello in particular skewing my views. And Farrell does not have to choose right now. But between the consistent first inning suck and the overall numbers in the last two starts, it really is difficult to favor Fister. Regardless of who gets the ball, here's hoping that Sale and Pomeranz will be able to go deep enough to allow Farrell the luxury of using Price and perhaps one of the other starters if necessary in start number three.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sadly, Fister is now looking like the Real Aaron Small.

Assuming the Sox hold on, JF will not have an obvious choice for the third starter role. If forced to choose right now, I would go with Porcello. I know there's some recency bias there with the last performances of Fister and Porcello in particular skewing my views. And Farrell does not have to choose right now. But between the consistent first inning suck and the overall numbers in the last two starts, it really is difficult to favor Fister. Regardless of who gets the ball, here's hoping that Sale and Pomeranz will be able to go deep enough to allow Farrell the luxury of using Price and perhaps one of the other starters if necessary in start number three.
I think Rodriguez is the third starter at this point. He's been the better pitcher over the course of the season. Fister's only chance, IMO, was to continue to streak of dominance he was on. Even if he was squeezed last night, his last two starts have pushed him to the edge of being left out. He's going to have to regain that dominant look to beat out Porcello for the fourth rotation spot now.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I think Rodriguez is the third starter at this point. He's been the better pitcher over the course of the season. Fister's only chance, IMO, was to continue to streak of dominance he was on. Even if he was squeezed last night, his last two starts have pushed him to the edge of being left out. He's going to have to regain that dominant look to beat out Porcello for the fourth rotation spot now.
Agree with RHF here. In a hypothetical 5 game series, the expectations are for Sale to go deep into a game and coming out with a Game one victory so that all bullpen options (IMO, all but Price) are on the table for the Pomeranz (likely a 5 inning... 6 inning if things go well) game.
I think Rodriguez deserves the three spot for consistency (hasn't had any horrible implosions), with Price ready to step in for multiple innings.

Fister has what....2 more starts? If he dominates in BOTH of those he could force Porcello out of the rotation but at this point it's looking unlikely. Even during his dominant stretch he was never effective in his first inning so I hope DD and Farrell consider that when constructing the playoff bullpen. There's a good chance he could be dropped off the roster completely.....

..... he'll hopefully be remembered this season as the unlikely hero that saved the Sox from a midseason collapse
 

The Gray Eagle

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7/31 vs Cle: 7.2 ip, 5 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 5 k
8/6 vs ChW: 6.1 ip, 8 h, 3 r, 3 er, 0 bb, 7 k
8/14 vs Cle: 4.1 ip, 7 h, 5 r, 5 er, 4 bb, 5 k
8/22 at Cle: 9.0 ip, 1 h, 1 r, 1 er, 2 bb, 6 k
8/27 vs Bal: 7.0 ip, 5 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 7 k
9/1 at NYY: 7.0 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 1 er, 1 bb, 5 k
9/6 vs Tor: 7.0 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 1 er, 3 bb, 9 k

Then right after that, SJH says:
I never expected that this guy would be any good. Boy did I nail that one.
Since then, 2 crappy starts. Mister Fister is clearly missing the SJH hate he was feeding off.