Legends On Deck

The Mets Should Sign Doug Fister

I’m not going to lie. When Bartolo Colon signed with the Atlanta Braves in the offseason, I, as a Met fan, had my heart broken. “Big Sexy” was an important cog in the Mets machine over the past three seasons, being the veteran and mentor on the staff to teach the young stud pitchers in Queens.

We all knew the reason why Colon wasn’t resigned. The Mets had the potential to have SEVEN starting pitchers, all developed within, to be in the Major Leagues for the 2017 season. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo were all in consideration for the five starting rotation spots in Queens. Why sign Big Bart for $7 million if your rotation would be overloaded?

Well…what a mighty turn of events the Mets have gone through. Lugo and Matz started the season on the disabled list with a partially torn UCL and a strained flexor tendon, respectively. The man affectionately known as “Thor” partially tore his lat and is currently on the 60 day disabled list. “The Dark Knight” is currently in the doghouse, recently coming off a three game suspension for breaking team rules, while also struggling on the mound. Gsellman has had some growing pains in his sophomore season in the majors, and Mr. Wheeler is currently still getting acclimated to the grind of starting after two years away from his Tommy John surgery. Jacob deGrom is currently the only Met keeping this team on his back in a starting capacity, throwing four straight games with double digit strikeouts.

Regardless of deGrom’s success, the Mets are running into Generation K type issues, just like they did in the mid-1990s with Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher, and Paul Wilson. The hype of the pure talent built from within going through some immense growing pains that may not ultimately materialize.

With the 2017 Mets club seemingly built to win NOW, the Blue and Orange Brigade need to bolster their starting rotation now. Granted, the Mets picked up Tommy Milone off waivers from Milwaukee, but it is not enough. In mid May, there is still one free agent available to help this team bring some stability to its starting core, in light of all the injuries.

In my opinion, the Mets should sign Doug Fister.

The 6’8 right hander has been in the Majors since 2009, playing for four teams, last with the Houston Astros in 2016 with 12-13 record in 32 starts. He is a career 77-76 with a 3.60 ERA, 1266 innings pitch and 847 strikeouts.

However, there are three main reasons which would make Fister a good fit for this club. First would be his durability. Save 2012, where Fister suffered an injury to a muscle in his ribcage, Fister has been relatively healthy. I mean, he took a line drive off the head in Game 2 of the 2012 World Series and pitched FIVE MORE INNINGS! His toughness is renowned. Despite being snakebitten with the injury bug, the Mets could use Fister for the remainder of the season for a healthy arm and a stable force, barring any other issues with their rotation.

Second, Fister can mix his pitches well. He doesn’t throw hard and he doesn’t throw for the strikeout. He maxes out at 91 MPH with his two-seam fastball, 87 with his cutter, and 84 with his changeup. However, Fister’s best pitch is his curve, which goes from 73-77 MPH, but has a beautiful 12-6 arch on it. With a guy that pitches, not hurls, Fister would suit the Mets well in the “Bartolo” role for the remainder of the season.

Finally, Fister has versatility. The Mets should know. During the 2015 season, Fister spent time both in the bullpen and starting rotation, going 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA and 1 save. If every other starter comes back this year and retake their roles in the starting rotation, you can subject Fister into the long-man role in the bullpen and maybe insert him into late innings, especially with Jeurys Familia having a blood clot in his right shoulder. The 33 year old can handle multiple roles on this staff. Trust me, the Mets would need it.

In my opinion, the Mets and Doug Fister would be a good fit together. Even if it’s just for this season, Fister would be durability, experience, and stability to a Mets rotation that needs it. With so many questions remaining in the Mets’ 2017, Fister seems like a surefire answer to a hole the Mets have.

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