It’s too early to label him as a good pitcher, but Doug Fister has been really solid. I wrote a little bit about him following his win over the Yankees last week, but I didn’t really get into too many numbers. It’s really hard to determine anything after just two starts, but you still have to recognize the fact that he’s already held his own against 2 of the better lineups in baseball.
It’s tough to find any statistics that don’t like what he’s done so far. His tRA is 3.36. His FIP is 4.01. Both of those are stellar. Also, all 4 of his pitches have been above average.
Pitch Runs above average
Alright, so those are the stats that make him look good. There are also some stats that make him look lucky. His BABIP is .228 (the league average is .302), and his LOB% is 89 (the league average is 71.9). So yes, he’s going to regress.
But, that also doesn’t tell the whole story, as there is one important aspect of Fister’s game that hasn’t shown up yet at the big league level. His BB/9 in Triple A this year was 0.93. His BB/9 with the Mariners this year is 3.21. He isn’t going to repeat that outstanding minor league rate in the big leagues, but he should be able to find a happy medium at around 2 or 2.5, and that’s really good. So yes, he’s been stranding a lot of runners, and although more of them are going to start scoring, he should start allowing fewer.
But then, when his ridiculously low BABIP catches up with him, it’s probably going to cancel out the imminent walk reduction. One advantage he has over other pitchers there, though, is the fact that he has one of the best defenses in baseball behind him, so that BABIP might stay well below the league average.
So, what conclusion can we come to about Fister? There really isn’t one. It’s just too hard to determine anything on a sample size of two starts. I guess the point of this post was to keep anyone from getting either too high on Fister based on just 2 starts, or too down on him because of the regression he’s due for. Let’s just give him some time, and see if he can continue his success against a slightly lesser lineup.
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