When the Washington Nationals acquired Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers for basically nothing, many people were baffled as to how the Nationals could have acquired such a solid pitcher for such a small loss on their own roster. Throw in the fact that Fister will be under the Nationals’ control for the next two seasons, and we have one of the more lopsided trades in recent baseball memory.
Fister plugs in as the No. 4 starter in the Nationals’ rotation, and as a sinkerball pitcher in front of the Nationals’ infield, he could be one of the best No. 4 starters in baseball. Nationals fans should be very excited about this considering the nightmares that Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren were.
We all know how star studded the Nationals’ rotation is with the names like Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez leading the way. When thinking of potential Cy Young candidates, there really is no shortage on the Nationals, that much is for sure. However, is there a chance Fister becomes the most likely candidate to win the award in his first year in the NL?
Think about it; Fister has been an AL pitcher his entire career, and has pitched to a 3.53 ERA in his five years for the Tigers and Seattle Mariners. Plug in Fister and his sinker to a NL team with one of the best defensive infields in baseball, pull out the DH and you get a recipe for success.
Also, there will be considerably less pressure on him at the No. 4 spot. Fister has always pitched in the shadow of other pitchers, or the shadow that is pitching in Seattle, so it will not be any different for him pitching in the Nationals’ rotation. Of course, there is going to be huge pressure on the Nationals this season to prove 2013 was not a fluke, but that should not affect Fister in any way since he was not on the team in 2013, but will be just as hungry to prove himself.
The Nationals do have plenty of top-notch, Cy Young-caliber pitchers, but Fister may have the best chance of them all to win it.