The Nationals’ offseason trade for Doug Fister was widely-celebrated, but some of the confetti was swept and bagged when the right-hander landed on the disabled list at the end of spring training with a lat strain and then yielded seven runs -- five earned -- over just 4 1/3 innings in his 2014 debut on May 9 in Oakland.
Well ... it’s about time to get the strobe lights back out and the bass pumping again.
Fister was brilliant over 7 1/3 innings Wednesday night in Nationals Park against the visiting Mets, allowing just one (unearned) run on six hits while striking out seven batters. All six of those hits were singles and Fister did not issue a walk.
“The radar gun doesn’t blow up, but he throws the ball where he wants to,” Nats manager Matt Williams told CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman after Wednesday’s big 7-1 win. “Tonight he was really down in the zone, really down and really on the corners tonight. We got a lot of groundballs, we got a lot of double plays, and that’s kind of what he provides for us: the ability with one pitch to get two outs. And that’s huge.”
Since that rough early-May debut, Fister boasts a 2.15 ERA in 100 1/3 innings. He doesn’t have the high strikeout rate of a typical fantasy ace, but the ERA should remain low and the wins should keep coming as the Nationals hit their stride.
Hellboy Fires Gem Versus Athletics
Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has begun to turn the page on a disappointing 2013 campaign that ended with offseason elbow surgery. The 27-year-old dominated the American League West-leading A’s on Wednesday night at O.co Coliseum, allowing just one run on two hits over seven innings. He struck out three Oakland batters and did not give up a walk, tossing a season-high 99 pitches with 62 of them going for strikes.
Hellickson now boasts a 2.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 14/5 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings (four starts) since recovering the strength of his throwing arm and rejoining the Rays’ rotation on July 8. Maybe the success won’t last and he’ll revert to the problems that plagued him throughout 2013, but this a pitcher who registered a 3.06 ERA over his first 402 1/3 innings at the major league level. He is certainly worth another shot in all mixed and AL-only fantasy leagues for the stretch run.
Springer Suffers Setback With Quad
Some bad news for George Springer fantasy owners dropped late Wednesday night, with the Astros announcing that the dynamic young outfielder aggravated his previously-strained left quadriceps muscle while playing in what was supposed to be his final minor league rehab game.
Springer has been sent back to Houston from Low-A Quad Cities to be examined by Astros team doctors. No matter the diagnosis, the 24-year-old is likely to remain sidelined through at least mid-August. He landed on the disabled list July 23.
Springer owns an .804 OPS, 20 home runs, 51 RBI, and five stolen bases in his first 78 major league games.
National League Quick Hits: The Cardinals are targeting mid-September for Michael Wacha's return from a stress reaction in his right shoulder … Troy Tulowitzki took on-field batting practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering a strained left hip flexor in late July … Phillies outfielder Ben Revere finished 4-for-5 with a triple, a stolen base, and a pair of runs scored in a rout of the Astros on Wednesday … Joaquin Benoit earned his fourth save Wednesday as the Padres beat the Twins … Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson was placed on the disabled list again Wednesday with a lower back strain … Gerrit Cole (lat) will make at least one more minor league rehab start … Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche homered twice in Wednesday’s defeat of the Mets … Jarred Cosart has been scratched from his scheduled Thursday start in Pittsburgh due to a sore oblique … Josh Harrison went 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and a pair of runs scored Wednesday as the Pirates beat the Marlins … Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson finished 4-for-4 with three runs scored Wednesday in a rout of the Cubs … Andrelton Simmons' left ankle was in a splint on Wednesday and he could miss several games … Brad Penny could be called up to start for the Marlins on Saturday in Cincinnati … Cubs righty Jake Arrieta was hammered for nine earned runs in five innings Wednesday in a loss to the Rockies … Jacob Turner was claimed off waivers by the Cubs after being designated for assignment earlier this week by the Marlins … Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI to lead the Giants past the Brewers 7-4 on Wednesday … Cliff Lee won't require surgery on his left elbow … Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is day-to-day with back tightness … Julio Teheran was lit up by the Mariners on Wednesday, giving up nine hits and six runs over six innings … The Cubs recently held a private workout for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo … Kevin Gregg will undergo season-ending elbow surgery on Thursday.
American League Quick Hits: An MRI of Brett Lawrie’s injured oblique was sent to Florida on Wednesday and the Blue Jays are expected to announce a diagnosis Thursday … Neftali Feliz earned his fourth save of the season Wednesday as the Rangers beat the White Sox … Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista finished 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and three RBI in Wednesday’s defeat of the Orioles … Robinson Cano doubled twice and scored two runs Wednesday as the Mariners beat the Braves … Twins pitching prospect Trevor May could be called up to make his major league debut on Saturday in Oakland … Torii Hunter is day-to-day with a bruised left hand … Drew Hutchison allowed just one hit -- a Chris Davis solo home run -- over 8 2/3 innings Wednesday as the Blue Jays beat the Orioles …Indians catcher Yan Gomes homered Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games ... Adam Lind (foot) will begin a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays on Thursday … White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton is day-to-day after running nearly full-speed into the outfield wall on Wednesday … Sonny Gray yielded seven runs -- six earned -- in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday in a loss to the Rays … Tigers shortstop Eugenio Suarez remains day-to-day with a sprained left knee … Chase Headley singled and hit a game-tying solo home run Wednesday in the Yankees’ win over the Tigers … The Mariners are expected to recall Erasmo Ramirez to start on Sunday against the White Sox … David Ross (foot) hopes to be activated from the disabled list when first eligible on August 17 … Joe Kelly surrendered one run and just three Cardinals hits over seven innings Wednesday in his Red Sox debut … Jed Lowrie remains day-to-day with a bruised right index finger … Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday … Twins closer Glen Perkins suffered his fourth blown save of the season in Wednesday's loss to the Padres … Mark Teixeira required stitches in his left pinkie after Wednesday's game and may be out a few days … The Indians optioned Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus.