A Comparison Sure To Make You Shudder
Hat tip to Mike Salk for getting me thinking about comparable pitchers for Doug Fister. We bounced a few names back and forth, including Jon Garland and Chris Young, as tall right-handers with sub-par fastballs who have made it work in the big leagues. Garland’s more of a comp for Fister than Young is, since Young pitches up in the zone and gets strikeouts and flyballs, while Garland is more of the slight groundball guy that Fister is.
However, there’s one other very comparable pitcher to Fister, and you won’t like this one. In fact, let’s just throw out the numbers without the name first.
Comparable Pitcher, April, 2008: 89.3 MPH FB, 1.93 BB/9, 3.86 K/9, 45.6% GB%, .269 BABIP, 81.2% LOB%, 6% HR/FB, 2.79 ERA, 4.69 xFIP
Doug Fister, April 2010: 88.9 MPH FB, 1.89 BB/9, 4.26 K/9, 47.5% GB%, .212 BABIP, 82.4% LOB%, 0% HR/FB, 1.42 ERA, 4.42 xFIP
Pretty much the same profile – no walks, lots of contact, some groundballs but not a ton, good luck on balls in play allows a lot of stranded runners, creating an unsustainably low ERA.
Comparable Pitcher? You probably guessed by now, but it’s Carlos Silva. I don’t really need to tell you how things went for him after his first month as a Mariner.
This isn’t to say that Fister is going to implode, become the worst pitcher in the game, start fights with his teammates, and eat a disgusting amount of food. But, it should hopefully serve as a reminder that any pitcher can look good by throwing strikes and letting hitters get themselves out for short stretches of time. It doesn’t generally work very well in the long run, though. With no out pitch, good hitters will make Fister pay for being around the strike zone so much. The last two starts were really nice to watch, but don’t get used to it – he’s still the same guy he always was.