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Fiers and next year's rotation spot.


TURBO

This may not be a popular opinion, but I truly think we have already seen the best of what Fiers has, or will have to offer this team.

 

I think for a while, he pitched far over his head, and what we have seen as of late will probably be what we should expect to see for most of his career.

 

I want to be wrong, I really do, but it appears that the magic is over. He has crashed down to earth and it has not been an easy landing.

 

I think it will be a HUGE mistake to go into next season with any thoughts of him being a legit #2 or #3 man in our rotation. #4 is even a stretch in my eyes.

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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He's struggled a bit over his last 4-5 starts. Guys do that. His overall numbers are still good. He goes into next year with a rotation spot (the number is meaningless) that's his to lose. They have other guys capable if he loses it, and he still has minor league options if he does.

 

I don't see the big deal. He's logged a lot of innings and his command went away a bit. He didn't start the year all that great at AAA, and then found it. He's earned the benefit of the doubt.

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Yeah all guys can't be a #1 or #2. You have to have some inning eaters. Even if makes 30 starts with an ERA around 4, with what he's making, he would be an asset to the Brewers. It's still better than the Brewers going out and paying some guy like Jeff Suppan or Braden Looper $5 million do the same thing Fiers will do.
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Pending any FA signings, I'd still bet they approach ST by saying that only Gallardo has a spot for sure, and that all the other young guys still need to win ST competitions to earn their spots in the rotation.

 

.... And I think it's also safe to say that even if the team states it in that way, what Fiers, Estrada, plus probably Rogers & Peralta did in the 2012 Mil. rotation well may still give them an inside track on some of those "open" rotation spots.

 

I'll also add that I think that Fiers is just fatigued/tired even though he's not saying so. His 5 K's in 2 innings at one point last night shows he still has it. It's just the continual building process in the longer MLB season & exceeding previous IP amounts.

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Fiers has been fine. It seems like he's been walking more and struggling to throw strikes. For a few months he pounded the zone and was stingy with baserunners. I'm not worried to open the season, especially since we'll have other internal candidates should he struggle
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The average #4 starting pitcher has something like a 4.50-4.75 ERA. To call that a stretch for Fiers next year is pretty silly to me. He had a good minor league career, great rookie year and makes league min. I would say there is practically no chance he isn't in the starting rotation next year to start the season. And I don't care very much how anyone performs in spring training.
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Runs have been down the last few years. The average NL starter this year has 4.1 ERA so almost by definition, that is what to expect from from an average #3 pitcher. Of course, that league average includes a bunch of innings from #6 and #7 replacement starters. A better way to see how your game 1 rotation stacks up might be to just take the average projection from the top 15 NL starters to get an average #1, then the next 15 for the average #2, etc...

 

That said, I don't think your numbers are that far off. I agree that fans in general have unrealistic expectations for an average starting rotation. A starter with a 4.0 ERA that is making league minimum is absolute gold. Even if the Brewers construct a very young starting rotation that projects to be a little below average, they will be paid so little that it will be more than worth it, provided they send the cash elsewhere.

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I'll also add that I think that Fiers is just fatigued/tired even though he's not saying so. His 5 K's in 2 innings at one point last night shows he still has it. It's just the continual building process in the longer MLB season & exceeding previous IP amounts.

 

That's been my feeling too. He's thrown 50 more innings this year, than he ever has. He's never been a starter for a full season, so this is all new to him. I just hope that with a 40% jump in innings, he doesn't end up breaking down next year. I hope the Brewers don't end up regretting not shutting him down a couple weeks ago.

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I've said this before, but: I think he's a real talent; he was almost certainly pitching a bit over his head when he came up, or else he's Greg Maddux; he clearly hit a wall when he got up over his projected innings limit; he has certainly earned a rotation spot next year; and we'll really know what we have in him after a couple of times around the league next season. I'm optimistic that he's a 2/3 type, but we'll see.
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I don't think they will shut Fiers down.

 

The stint in Venezuela pushed Fiers to 154 1/3 innings in 2011, not including Spring Training. The Brewers prefer to limit pitchers to 120-130 percent of their previous season's workload, so, using that math, Fiers would get 185-200 innings in '12. That leaves him 35-50 additional innings.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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I don't think they will shut Fiers down.

 

The stint in Venezuela pushed Fiers to 154 1/3 innings in 2011, not including Spring Training. The Brewers prefer to limit pitchers to 120-130 percent of their previous season's workload, so, using that math, Fiers would get 185-200 innings in '12. That leaves him 35-50 additional innings.

 

Yes, but there is a break between the end of the season and the start of winter ball where he could rest, both physically and mentally. IIRC, he also didn't get called up for a week or two after the end of Nashville's season last year so he had a little break then too. While he pitched 150+ innings last year, it wasn't over a continuous season. I'm sure he's tired both physically and mentally.

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Not to mention the fact that the winter league shortened his off-season... Just tacking those innings onto last year's total isn't necessarily entirely accurate. Without a doubt, pitching 128 during the season plus some extra in fall/winter ball is far different than if he had pitched the same total number of innings during the 2011 season.
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Could he possibly be tired?

 

Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner. :)

 

The drop off we're seeing in Michael's production was to be expected. Why? Look at his workload in the minors.

 

In 2009: 40 2/3 IP

In 2010: 125 IP

In 2011: 126 IP

In 2012: 55 IP AAA Nashville

First 80 IP with Milwaukee (at this point, Fiers is 6-4 with a 1.80 ERA, 80 K vs 16 BB. 1.012 WHIP, .218 oAVG)

Last 41 2/3 IP Milwaukee (the remainder of the year, 3-5 with a 6.91 ERA. 45 K vs 19 BB. 1.771 WHIP, .316 oAVG)

 

His BAbip through August 7th: .286

His BAbip the remainder of the season: .398

 

That's a 112 point jump.

 

Michael Fiers did not suddenly forget how to pitch. I expect that some of the decline in his performance is due to hitters getting second and third looks at his delivery. But the main culpret is his workload. He had 55 IP in the minors, and 122.2 IP in the majors...he's never approached this 177 2/3 IP previously.

 

Michael is not a power pitcher. We all know this. But fatigue can cause affect even finesse pitchers. Imagine a fastball that's normally coming in at 88-90 mph dropping a few mph. That's all the longer hitters are able to track the ball from the pitcher's release point. More time to identify what kind of pitch is coming (even if it's only a few fractions of a second). Arm fatigue might mean that a pitcher is snapping his curveball off less, meaning it doesn't have the same break.

 

Fiers is not the only rook that's experiencing fatigue. The Arizona Diamondbacks just shut down phenom Tyler Skaggs for the year. His fastball average has dropped from 94 to 87-88 since being called up.

 

I have a very good feeling about Michael Fiers. I don't like putting labels on pitchers, so I'm not going to say "he's a #2, a #3, or a #4...", but if he can continue to work on his conditioning, and increase his workload capacity, he could be a very solid starter for the Brewers. He's got a 9.6 K/IP for his time in the minor leagues, and a 9.4/IP figure for his time in the majors. And his 3.57:1 K:BB ratio is outstanding. Compare that to Stephen Strasburg, who is a power pitcher. In his first full season in the bigs, he had a 4.10 K:BB ratio.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Tired is the thing that makes sense. He seems to not be pounding the zone as much as before. In his last month he's gone:

1-3 (5 starts) 20.2IP 31H 16ER 12BB 23K 6.97ERA 2.081WHIP

 

Before that he went:

8-6 (16 starts) 101IP 88H 32ER 23BB 102K 2.85ERA 1.10WHIP

 

please feel free to modify formatting.

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I'm not one to make excuses for players and I don't think the tired angle is as much a reason as it is an excuse. We aren't talking about a 21 or 22 year old pitcher here, we're talking about 27 year old who should be entering his prime. I'm into Fiers, I always have been, but I think both sides are grasping at straws here because there are simply too many variables in play to make definitive statements about him. It's certainly not his fault he was bounced between relief and starting in the minors, but he's also certainly not the pitcher who pitched to a sub 2 ERA through July either. Mike is off to a fine start to his career and next year will shed some definitive light on what we have.

 

I do think it's unrealistic to expect a pitcher with his raw stuff to be a top of rotation guy, but again I also think that pitchers with + command have a legitimate chance to exceed expectations. His stuff firmly puts him in that 4/5 range but he could very well be a 3 or even a 2 in a given year with his intangibles/command. He's very good value as a pitcher regardless of his ultimate production as a starter but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was bumped from the rotation by someone more talented before his arbitration years are up.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

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I'm not one to make excuses for players and I don't think the tired angle is as much a reason as it is an excuse. We aren't talking about a 21 or 22 year old pitcher here, we're talking about 27 year old who should be entering his prime. I'm into Fiers, I always have been, but I think both sides are grasping at straws here because there are simply too many variables in play to make definitive statements about him. It's certainly not his fault he was bounced between relief and starting in the minors, but he's also certainly not the pitcher who pitched to a sub 2 ERA through July either. Mike is off to a fine start to his career and next year will shed some definitive light on what we have.

 

I do think it's unrealistic to expect a pitcher with his raw stuff to be a top of rotation guy, but again I also think that pitchers with + command have a legitimate chance to exceed expectations. His stuff firmly puts him in that 4/5 range but he could very well be a 3 or even a 2 in a given year with his intangibles/command. He's very good value as a pitcher regardless of his ultimate production as a starter but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was bumped from the rotation by someone more talented before his arbitration years are up.

 

 

I completely agree. I think he's going to be a sub 4.00 pitcher for the most part because of his sharp curve, his change is very good, his cutter is extremely effective, and his fastball delivery, as has been noted apparently hides the ball well enough that it gets on the hitter faster than the radar gun would read.

 

I don't see much of a difference between he and Marcum, other than I think his curve is MORE of a strikeout pitch than Marcum's change, and I think that makes him more like a "power," pitcher rather than a finesse pitcher, despite not having great command.

 

And if he does get bumped from the rotation, I think that's only going to be a product of the Brewers young arms producing well enough that a particular pitcher forces Fiers out. I could also see him become a mainstay in the rotation for 6 years and a real stabilizing force in our rotation with all the volatility we're going to have with guys like Rogers(injury risk), Peralta and his command issues and other young pitchers in general.

Icbj86c-"I'm not that enamored with Aaron Donald either."
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