3. Doug Fister
Doug Fister, who just turned 33 years old, made all 32 of his starts last season going 12-13 with an ERA of 4.64 and 115 strikeouts.
Fister is a reliable veteran starting pitcher who threw 180.1 innings in 2016, an achievement no Oriole pitcher accomplish last season. However, Baltimore Orioles’ Gausman and Tillman each pitched 179.2 and 172 innings with ERA’s under four.
However, Doug Fister’s contract with the Houston Astros ended after the team chose not to extend a qualifying offer to Fister according to Jake Kaplan from the Houston Chronicle.
Fister’s best years started with the Detriot Tigers in 2011 where he posted a career-low 1.79 ERA in 10 starts. After two productive seasons with the Tigers, Fister signed a one-year deal worth $7.2 million with the Washington Nationals in 2014 as he played a vital role in the team’s rotation, winning the NL East.
In addition to winning a division title in 2014, Fister won a career-high 16 games and led the Nationals pitching staff in wins that included some of the league’s best pitchers including Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark.
Fister’s ERA catapulted from 2.41 in 2014 to 4.19 in the 2015 season. Fister’s ERA continued to trend downward, posting an ERA of 4.64 in 32 starts last season with the Houston Astros.
Orioles’ pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez finished 2016 allowing the sixth most walks (72) in the American League and helped contribute to an Orioles pitching staff that allowed an AL-worst 545 base on balls.
Many Orioles fans can’t bear to think about Jimenez and Miley penciled in as the team’s No. 4 and No. 5 starters. Fister could fit nicely in the O’s rotation and a candidate to replace someone like Jimenez, who has a history of ranking at the top for most walks allowed in the AL.
As you can see in the graph, Fister has remained well below the league average for walks per nine innings most of his career except last season where his 3.09 walks per nine innings were just below the league’s average of 3.14.
For any pitcher to be successful at the hitter friendly, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, they need to keep the ball low, forcing hitters to ground out. The 33-year-old veteran pitcher concluded his final season with the Astros, ranking 13th among AL starting pitchers in most groundouts with 216.
Fister and the Orioles linked in free agent rumors this offseason has been little to none. Despite no signs of a deal happening, there’s still plenty of time regarding Duquette’s offseason strategies.