Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The 2015 season was a complete disaster for Doug Fister. One of the pitchers that could have been a top of the rotation starter that comprised the Nationals staff, Fister struggled virtually all season. He missed time with a flexor strain, and was generally ineffective during his time on the mound, posting a 4.19 ERA and a 1.398 WHiP in his 25 outings.
Most of that damage came as a starter, where Fister posted a 4.60 ERA and a 1.419 WHiP in his 15 starts. Banished to the bullpen at the beginning of August, Fister began to find himself once again. In his ten relief outings, Fister produced a 2.12 ERA and a 1.294 WHiP, striking out 15 in his 17 innings.
Even with that improvement after being sent to the bullpen, there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned with Fister. His velocity dropped by over two miles per hour this past season, and did not have that much of an uptick after being placed in a relief role. The opposition feasted on that difference, as Fister allowed a 30% line drive rate last season while seeing his ground ball tendencies become neutralized.
With an offseason to rest his arm, and an improved defense behind him, Doug Fister could be in line for a bounceback campaign. Playing in Kauffman Stadium with the Kansas City Royals defense behind him, he could be a potential steal if Dayton Moore had interest.
Next: A truly brutal season