The LA Angels have not been able to find very many consistent starting pitchers this season. This has led to an excess of players making starts. The Angels signed free agent Doug Fister to gain a fresh veteran arm.
The LA Angels reached agreements with Fister today, and have signed him to a contract, pending a physical. Fister went through the offseason unsigned. After going through the first month of the season still without a team, Fister, 33, held a showcase for MLB teams to come watch. The Angels were in attendance, and liked what they saw enough to sign him.
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Fister finished last season on the Houston Astros. On the year, he went 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA, the highest of his career. This could be a positive sign though, as he has experience against American League West opponents now. He also showed great flashes of his old self in May and June, where he had a 2.84 and 2.45 ERA, respectively.
For Angels fans, this may seem a lot like the Tim Lincecum signing of last year. However, the situations are different. The Angels last year needed every arm they could get when it came to starting pitchers. This season, while not great, their starting rotation has been able to keep them in the majority of games. Lincecum was also coming off back surgery, it was a very risky move to sign him. The only concern with Fister is his age.
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Fister’s role with the Angels is yet to be determined. The team’s starters have done well recently, unless the team is looking to move on from Matt Shoemaker or Ricky Nolasco, both of whom have had their struggles recently.
Fister should not be expected to turn back the clock and dominate this year. If he can pitch a lot of innings and hold a sub-five ERA, then the signing will be worth it.