One of the more surprising things that came out of the ZNN re-signing back and forth was seeing that a lot of people want both ZNN AND Fister to re-sign. Ummm welll, let's just say I don't feel exactly the same way. To the fancy stats!
.262, .292 career
Fister has had years this good before - .271 and .272 years in the AL, and getting weak GBs is what he does. but still .262 is really low. Could he repeat this? Sure When I looked, for example, at the Top 10 BABIP guys last year 3 had done roughly as well the year before. But that means 7 didn't, including Fister. Expect at least a minor correction here.
10.1%, 8.5% career
This is about right. If you want to jump and say "It could go down!" let's remember the parks he's pitched in. Safeco is generally a hard place to homer. Comerica is at best neutral. A little bump moving to DC is probably right.
83.1% , 73.7%
Read this and picture a leprechaun wearing a rabbit foot dress dancing on a pile of winning wishbone pieces. That's Chris Young (seriously, what was up with that guys 2014?). To a lesser, but still important, extent Doug Fister also got lucky. Yes, D helps, but not this much, or else you'd expect to see higher rates on all those other Nats pitchers. Expect this to drop.
A little more flyball than you would like and trending in the wrong way for a park that isn't flyball friendly. Still ok, just something to note.
5.4 & 1.3, 6.1, 1.7
He's getting better at control but he's not striking people out. Here's the thing. He's got a lot more room to get worse striking people out than he does to get better at not walking. On some level you have to keep guys from putting the ball in play every time up.
What do we glean from all the above? It certainly looks like Doug Fister had luck on his side last year and by all accounts should see at least a moderate, if not large return to his historical numbers. These are still good numbers, mind you, but they probably don't demand a long term deal covering his mid 30s. Could he have learned to pitch better? I suppose. If you want to be super optimistic you can read the drop in Ks as a plan to induce far more weak contact which would also explain the drop in BABIP and rise in LOB%. There's a couple things that don't agree with that line of thinking though.
We didn't see more GBs we saw fewer. We did see a drop in LD% but then the take away is that Doug Fister is somehow getting more lazy flyballs? I'll buy weak grounders but I won't buy that. Especially without a decrease in HR/FB or increase in IFFB%. The other issue is the drop in FB speed 89.6 in 2011 to 89.1 to 88.6 to 87.9 last year. That doesn't seem like a guy choosing to strike out fewer batters. It seems like a guy who can't strike out any more than he has. Again, it could be a choice that's working marvelously, bBut I feel like that's something you have to convince yourself of not what the data is really saying.
Combine the above and Doug's age (he'll be 31 in less than two months) and I see a Fister contract as a time bomb. At some point in the next few years, could be 2 years, could be 5, he's going to blow up. That inability to strike people out is going to lead to even more batters making contact, they'll make better contact that HR/FB and BABIP rates will come back to the pack and at best he's a back of the rotation guy.
So you don't sign Fister, why not trade high? It's an option. I don't think his value is going to go up anymore. But I think about what the Nats would like to replace him with if he was traded. Based on the Jackson/Haren signings they'd like a not old pitcher, who can fit in with the team, on a one year deal. Hey! that's pretty much what they have with Fister right now!
I say keep him then. The team wants to win next year. Fister helps them with that goal. Let him pitch and cross your fingers he doesn't blow up next year. Then let him walk (offering whatever you must in a one year deal of course) and get the draft pick when he signs somewhere.
Christmas Movie Reviews
X(Mas)-Factor: Medium-Rare. Could stay in the Easy Bake a little longer
Kids acting: There, but not much and not terrible. Good for you kids!
Watchability: A little tough for wildly oscillating reasons.
"Hey it's"! : Nicole Eggert! The guy that played John Ritter in the made-for-TV movie about Three's Company which you probably never watched but I did and the Glad girl who's now in Red Robin commercials was Janet and you know that movie wasn't that bad!
I'm coming at you with a truth bomb right now. Nicole Eggert is not bad in this movie. I'll go a step further. Nicole Eggert is good in this movie. I know, right? She's acually given a lot to work with and if not for the horrible non-lesson this movie might be one I'd tell you to watch. I'll get to that in a minute
The movie is all Eggert and she does good work being the put upon mom early on. Not put upon necessarily by a lout of a husband (he's actually way too nice and cheerful and you pretty much want to punch him in his smiling mug through his first couple of scenes), or uncaring children (they are pretty much normal), but just by a life that didn't turn out the way she thought it would. They don't have money and times are tough and to make things worse her ex-boyfriend became rich and famous at art which is what she loves to do (let's not forget the real lesson of Christmas movies - artisans are the best, office people are the worst) She ends up magically being transported through a clothes dryer (why not? we're talking magic here does it really matter?) and living life as his wife.
And here's where things break down. Minor point - despite her real-life husband marrying someone else, they still have the same exact kids? How the hell does that work? Major point - so you think she'll live this life and learn that money isn't everything and that she misses her family etc etc. But what really screws her up in the dream world is the fact she apparently was a raging bitch in this world and her marriage is ending. How is that a lesson?
"Life would have turned out differently if only I hit that home run"
"Ok you hit that home run! You're rich now! "
"Also that home run hit your son in the stands and killed him and in grief your wife ran away with another man and you turned to alcohol and you are currently going to trial for a DWI crash that ran into a bus of orphans killing them all. Also your son would have come up with the cure for the coming plague so you're on the hook for those billion deaths, too"
"So I... shouldn't have hit that home run?"
"Good. You finally appreciate what you have"
I'll give it 6 elves doing the job they are supposed to be doing while Herbie daydreams. The real heroes.