DOUG DOUGLAS WILDES FISTER
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   RED SOX
Height: 6' 8" Bats:   L
Weight: 210 Throws:   R
DOB: 2/4/1984 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 38  
Birth City: Merced, CA
Draft: Mariners #7 - 2006 - Out of Fresno State Univ. (CA)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2006 NWL EVERETT   20 40 35 35 11 4 0 0 4 3 5 0.229 2.25
2007 SL WEST TENN   24 131 156 85 32 24 1 0 0 7 8   4.60
2008 SL WEST TENN   31 134.1 155 104 45 23 0 0 0 6 14   5.43
2009 AL MARINERS   11 61 63 36 15 10 0 0 0 3 4 0.264 4.13
2009 SL WEST TENN   2 5.2 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 0   0.00
2009 PCL TACOMA   22 106.1 132 79 11 17 0 0 0 6 4   3.81
2010 PCL TACOMA   1 4 4 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   4.50
2010 AL MARINERS $407.00 28 171 187 93 32 28 0 0 0 6 14 0.277 4.11
2011 AL MARINERS $437.00 21 146 139 89 32 21 3 0 0 3 12 0.252 3.33
2011 AL TIGERS   11 70.1 54 57 5 10 0 0 0 8 1 0.206 1.79
2012 AL TIGERS $508.00 26 161.2 156 137 37 26 2 1 0 10 10 0.249 3.45
2012 IL TOLEDO   1 4 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2013 AL TIGERS $4,000.00 33 208.2 229 159 44 32 1 0 0 14 9 0.281 3.67
2014 NL NATIONALS $7,200.00 25 164 153 98 24 25 1 1 0 16 6 0.246 2.41
2014 EL HARRISBURG   1 3.2 2 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 0   4.91
2014 CAR POTOMAC   1 4 6 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2015 NL NATIONALS $11,400.00 25 103 120 63 24 15 0 0 1 5 7 0.295 4.19
2015 EL HARRISBURG   1 6 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2015 IL SYRACUSE   1 3.2 7 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 1   2.45
2016 AL ASTROS $7,000.00 32 180.1 195 115 62 32 0 0 0 12 13 0.276 4.64
2017 PCL SALT LAKE   3 15.2 16 10 5 3 0 0 0 1 0   4.02
2017 AL RED SOX   7 25.1 30 21 17 4 0 0 0 0 5 0.309 7.46
Personal
  • Running for a few miles every day is a big part of Doug's training routine. So he is normally one of the early arrivals in the clubhouse.
  • Fister bats lefthanded and throws righthanded. He was born in Merced, California and attended Golden Valley High School. He then attended Merced College, and later Fresno State University. Fister spent four seasons (2006–2009) in the Seattle Mariners minor league organization before being promoted to the Major League roster in 2009.

  • Fister was born February 4, 1984, to Larry and Jan Fister. Larry Fister is a fire captain who played football at Fresno State University from 1976 to 1977. Jan is a homemaker. Fister has three siblings; a brother and two sisters. He grew up in Merced, California where he began playing baseball at the age of 6.

    He was a fan of both the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants as a child. His favorite player was Cal Ripken Jr. Fister also played soccer, football, and basketball as a child. He shares a middle name (Wildes) with both his father and grandfather.

    FOCUSED FAMILY

  • Larry Fister, Doug’s father, taught his sons to be calm and steady under any circumstance. No matter how scary it gets. Or how much pressure there is. Or how bad it gets.

    Relax. Do your job. And stay focused. That's the family mantra.

    "You have emotion, you just have to learn how to control it—until you get your job done," said Larry Fister, a no-nonsense man who is retired after working as a firefighter for 20 years and a police officer for 12 years in Merced, California.

    His son, Jake Fister (Doug’s brother), is a hero—from a long line of heroes.

    Jake Fister is an emergency medical technician. Jake Fister said when he was treating a patient—no matter how dire the circumstance—he couldn't think of them as a patient. He tries to think of them as a problem that needs to be fixed. "You have to think of something being broken," Jake Fister said. "It sounds horrible. But it's something that needs to be fixed."

    Which brings us to Larry Fister's other son.The one you might have heard of. His name is Doug Fister. And Doug Fister approaches his job the same was as his father and his brother.

    Stay relaxed. Stay calm. And try to fix the problems as they pop up. Relax. Do your job. And stay focused.

    "No matter what game you're pitching, it's important to stay focused," Fister said, "and to do the things you know how and the things you've done to prepare all year, whether it's been in the off-season or during the season, just to really kind of stay true to yourself and stay within your guidelines."

    His Dad couldn't have said it any better.

  • Doug grew up in Merced, California. He was a Giants fan and teenage devotee of Will Clark and his teammates, young enough to dream about pitching in the relatively new AT&T Park.
  • Doug and former MLB catcher Dusty Ryan graduated in the same class.
  • When both were in Detroit, Fister and Tigers catcher Brayan Pena became close. The stocky catcher who defected from Havana, Cuba at age 16 and the lanky pitcher from Merced, Calif.—but it seems like they’ve known each other much longer.

    “Brayan is just such a lovable guy,” Fister said. “And he has the same personality with everyone on this team; he’s glue for everybody. He does little things like that handshake. That’s a handshake that comes from the heart. You can get close to Brayan pretty quickly.

    One example of that occurs whenever Pena catches Fister.

    “I like to go out and go by feel on the hitters,” Fister said. “I don’t watch video. And Brayan is a video and study guy all the way.”

    Pena said, “Doug is an old-school guy on preparation. It’s about feeling and reading the hitters, and he’s great at it. To be able to smell what somebody else is cooking is really impressive.”

    The catcher held up a page filled with three-digit numbers coded for references to each Red Sox hitter, and said, “This is something I go over with all the other pitchers.” Then Pena turned over the sheet to the blank side, adding, “This is for Doug.”

    Pena said he likes how Fister goes about doing things for others without publicity.

    “Doug takes a lot of time to work with kids, problem kids and all kinds, with his girlfriend,” Pena said.

    Fister and Ashley Phelps, a science teacher and water polo and swimming coach at Merced High, work with students there.

  • Doug's dream in college was to be an architect. But, if hadn't become a baseball player, he most like would've been a police officer or a firefighter. Those two professions go back at least four generations—all the way back to his great-grandfather, who was a fireman in the 19th century.

    His father, Larry, an athletic man who played football at Fresno State, was a fire captain and SWAT team member in Merced, Calif.

    "I went to school for teaching, but I really like law enforcement, the military and stuff like that. It was definitely a possibility of me going into a career like that."

    During his father's career as a firefighter, Doug also spent a lot of time in the firehouse and around firemen. What really rubbed off on him was the sense of family.

    "Trust. That's the epitome of the police and fire department," Fister said. "You have to trust one another and have each other's backs. That's not just on the job. That's off the job too." (Tom Worgo - Baseball Digest - Jan., 2015)

  • Fister loved talking pitching (and life) with former teammate Chris Tillman. He was in awe of Felix Hernandez when he was promoted to the big leagues, and as dazzled as anyone when the Mariners traded for Cliff Lee months after the lefty had pitched the Phillies to the 2009 World Series.

    Fister has tried to learn something from all of the pitchers he's been around. He thinks about those things every day. "It's definitely been a help for me, something I cherish and really feel honored to be a part of," Fister said. "Those guys are where they are because of the hard work and the talent they've got. There's a lot of reasons I should pick their brains. That was the mentality I had, and I did."

  • Doug joined the Nationals in the winter of 2013 under unexpected circumstances. Fister had just finished his second full season with the Tigers. He followed up by compiling a 2.40 ERA in two postseason starts, though Detroit fell to the eventual-champion Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.

    He was gearing up for another season at Comerica Park. But late in the night on Dec. 2, the Tigers dealt the consistent and battled-tested Fister to Washington—a move that left fans and Fister scratching their heads.  "Obviously, I was surprised," Fister said. "There wasn't any precursor coming up to it or anything."

    Fister's mood quickly changed, though, when phone calls and text messages started pouring in from Nationals players, welcoming him to his new home. Part of the reason for the group's impressive outreach stemmed from Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, who, according to Ian Desmond, gave the Nats a "scouting report" on Fister's renowned presence as a team-first player.

    "It's all held true," Desmond said. It was the subtle collective gesture Fister needed to replace his confusion with excitement, and his commitment to the organization—not only as a pitcher, but also as a teammate—has never wavered.

    "That's something that makes the whole process of going into new territory, a new team, and everything else a lot easier," Fister said. "And I've loved it ever since." (Popper - mlb.com - 7/24/14)

  • The Nationals have loved Doug, as Fister has exceeded expectations on the field. However, Fister's ability to contribute early in the 2014 season was delayed due to multiple injuries during Spring Training. First, he encountered elbow inflammation early in March 2014. He worked his way back onto the field after several weeks, only to strain his right lat muscle in late March.

    The second injury forced Fister to miss the first month of the season. And for a fierce competitor like Fister, watching hopelessly from the dugout during a time when he should have been proving his worth to new teammates and coaches transformed his excitement into frustration.

    As he always has, though, Fister found a way to be productive even if he couldn't play. He was the team's biggest cheerleader, and he made sure to always provide an ear to anybody wanting to talk baseball—or anything, for that matter.

    "I tried to not let any time go by and waste," Fister said. "I spent [it] working on the relationships with the guys and learning what it takes to interact with each one. I put extra effort into knowing these guys. I didn't know anybody coming into it, so I felt like [we grew] together in a short time as much as you can without playing."

    Fister made his Nationals debut in May 2014. He said that it was a relief to finally get back on the field. "There was some extra energy there," Fister said.

    Fister has provided the Nationals' starting rotation with exactly what it was missing: a quick-working, strike-zone-pounding workhouse who places complete faith in the defense behind him. Between Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nats are stacked with legitimate strikeout pitchers. Fister, meanwhile, as a sinkerballer, pitches to contact. (Popper - mlb.com - 7/24/14)

  • Animal Lovers:  Doug Fister made his trip to spring training in Viera, Florida in an RV. He was accompanied by his wife Ashley, two dogs, and two cats.

  • August 3-6, 2016: Doug was on the paternity list.

TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2006: The Mariners chose Fister in the 7th round, out of Fresno State University. Fister signed for a bonus of $50,000.
  • July 30, 2011: The Tigers sent OF Casper Wells, INF Francisco Martinez, and LHP Charlie Furbush to the Mariners, acquiring Fister and RHP David Pauley.
  • January 18, 2013: Fister and the Tigers agreed to a $4 million contract for 2013, avoiding arbitration.
  • December 2, 2013: The Nationals sent LHP Ian Krol, 2B Steve Lombardozzi, and LHP Robbie Ray to the Tigers; acquiring Fister.
  • February 1, 2014: Doug and the Nats avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year contract in the $7 million area.

  • January 16, 2015: Fister and the Nats avoided aribitration, agreeing on a one-year $11.4 million pact.

  • January 28, 2016 The Astros signed free agent Fister to a one-year contract for $7 million and could earn another $5 million in potential performance bonuses.

  • Nov 3, 2016: Fister chose free agency.

  • May 20, 2017: The Angels signed free agent Fister.

  • June 21, 2017: The Angels released Fister.
  • June 23, 2017: The Red Sox claimed free agent Doug
Pitching
  • Fister is one tall, righthander, coming at hitters from a strong downhill plane from 6 feet, 7 inches. He is a SINKER/SLIDER pitcher -- his sinker is just 85-89 mph, with his slider at 80-84 mph. He also has a 70-73 mph CURVEBALL, an 84-88 mph CUTTER and a 78-82 mph SPLIT-FINGER CHANGE.

    His sinker is his signature pitch. And former big league pitcher, now MLB Network analyst, and SportsNet New York color announcer on Mets games, Ron Darling says he loves watching Fister pitch. After all, Darling was a sinkerballer.

    "I always judge sinkerballers by one way: it's not how much it sinks, but how late it sinks," Darling explained. "That's the difference between Doug and all the other sinkerball pitchers.

    "When they see the ball come out of his hand, they think it's a fastball. They go to swing, and the ball moves down. That late break is what really confuses hitters."

    He doesn't have a lot of velocity on his heater, but it plays up because of his height. (May 2016)

  • Manager Matt Williams said Fister's ability to work quickly and not waste time on the mound significantly aids the defense behind him, which explains how the righthander has seemingly avoided the relatively large number of errors the team has made so far in 2014.

    "He grabs the ball and goes," Williams said. "You don't have time to stand defensively. You're on your toes, because you expect the ball to be put in play and it's happening so quickly."  (Popper - mlb.com - 6/1/14)

    Yes, Fister is definitely a rhythm pitcher and doesn't waste time, keeping his teammates behind him on their toes/really into the game, pitching quickly. 

  • Doug has very good command. Because he is so tall, that height can create some nice downhill angles.

    He can be a master at changing speeds and keeping hitters off-balance. Hitters tend to jump at his breaking pitches out of the strike zone.

  • On August 12, 2009, in Fister's first start in the Major Leagues, he  looked like a seasoned veteran. He blanked the White Sox on one hit—an infield nubber by Jim Thome in the first inning—over six shutout innings. But the Mariners bullpen lost the 1-0 lead that Doug gave them.

  • Fister brings some feistiness to the mound. He is at his best when it is a tough situation. He doesn't give in. His teammates love the fire and energy as well.

  • "Straight Fresno State Bulldog," said second baseman Jack Wilson. 

  • At the end of the 2011 season, Doug was asked to identify why he turned his season around so dramatically after coming to Detroit just before the trade deadline, going 8-1, 1.79 ERA in 11 starts for the Tigers.

    "I haven't changed any approach, my mindset or figured out a new pitch," he said. "I've been trying to keep hitters off-balance and mix pitches a lot more, rather than getting into any patterns. I've talked to pitching coach Jeff Jones quite a bit, as far as throwing the curveball more. But other than that, I really couldn't tell you.

  • Fister's calm demeanor stems from an ability to shut out his surroundings and focus on the task at hand, no matter how intense the circumstances.

    "It's funny, but you go back to 'For the Love of the Game' and how you 'clear the mechanism' or whatever your saying is," Fister said. "Just everything goes silent. You don't hear the crowd; it's just you and the catcher. It's an amazing feeling, and it's really unexplainable, but they portrayed it very well in the movie. That's exactly how it is. It goes from a real broad focus to just a tunnel vision, knowing what you're doing and what the catcher is doing, and being in the right frame of mind to go out there and not pay attention to anything but your job."

  • September 27, 2012: Fister set an American League record by striking out 9 straight (Kansas City Royals) hitters.

  • Fister has been in the Major Leagues since 2009, and his fastball has never averaged 90 mph. He got it up to 92 at times in 2013, but never more. It's the lack of that plus velocity that has contributed to Fister's being traded by the Mariners and, last December, the Tigers.

    But few big leaguers throw more strikes—especially not when their out pitch is a wicked curveball. He got hitters to swing and miss at 17.6 percent of the curves he threw last season, more than Clayton Kershaw and almost twice as many as the average big leaguer. Fister's bread-and-butter pitch is a two-seam fastball. 

  • Fister's goal in every start is to induce 27 ground-ball outs in 27 pitches. A nearly impossible feat, yes, but it forces him to not stray away from the approach that has made him effective during his six-year Major League career.

    "It was something I had to focus on," Fister said. "I wasn't a big strikeout guy. I've never really been a big strikeout guy. So I go out there and try to get as much bad contact as possible as early as possible to allow me to go deeper in games."

    Couple that commitment to throwing strikes with a lightning-fast pace while on the mound, and you have a fielder's dream. Fister is exactly that.

    Watch one Fister start, and this unique aspect of his baseball DNA becomes apparent. He takes as little time in between pitches as possible, partly to disrupt the hitter's timing and partly to help him find his "groove." But mostly, it's because Fister understands what kind of impact a fast pace can have on the defense behind him, because he was once a first baseman in college at Fresno State.

    "[The tempo] helps out the offense, because you're not sitting on the field for 20-minute half innings; and it helps your defense, because you're always on your toes," Desmond said. "You're always focused and alert to what's going on."  (Popper - mlb.com - 7/24/14)

  • As of the start of the 2017 season, Fister has a career record of 77-76 with 3.42 ERA, having allowed 120 home runs and 1,296 hits in 1,266 innings.
Fielding
  • Doug is one of the best fielding pitchers in baseball. (Spring 2015)
  • Fister is a good bunter, adept at laying down a sacrifice bunt.
Career Injury Report
  • June 2007: Fister went on the D.L. 
  • June 5-25, 2010: Doug was on the D.L. with a sore right pitching shoulder.
  • April 8-May 6, 2012: Fister went on the D.L. with a rib injury, technically a left costochondral strain.

    May 28-June 16, 2012: Doug was back on the D.L. with a left side strain.

  • March 27-May 9, 2014: Fister left a minor league start after one inning with a strain of the latissimus dorsi muscle on the right side of his upper back and started the season on the D.L.

    Fister also missed time earlier in 2014 Spring Training because of elbow inflammation.

  • August 2014:  Fister had surgery to remove skin cancer from his neck.

    "Doug's known about this for some time, and the doctors took care of it," Nats manager Matt Williams said. "It's a fairly common occurrence. Because it's on his neck and he's on television, people notice. From all indications, everything was taken care of. He'll certainly have further tests and all that, and make sure everything's good."

  • May 15-June 18, 2015: Doug was on the D.L. with tightness in his right forearm's flexor muscle, according to an MRI.

  • Aug 1-20, 2016: Bud was on the DL with mid back strain.