Mike Fiers was considered to be a depth piece for the Oakland A’s. While he was assured of a role on the major league pitching staff, his exact place on the roster was uncertain. The A’s had temporarily settled on a six man rotation to give Fiers a start, but that was not necessarily going to continue beyond this turn.
However, Fiers’ presence did give Oakland something it needed – a chance to reevaluate their starters. Despite some pleasant surprises, there were concerns in the rotation – particularly the performances of Jesus Luzardo and Frankie Montas. The A’s had options beyond their prospects.
Mike Fiers suddenly important for Oakland A’s
That is not the case for now. Luzardo is on the Injured List, having fractured his finger when he bumped it on a table while playing video games. He made his start on Saturday, but his poor performance, and the subsequent x-ray, showed how much that injury affected him.
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Fiers had the type of outing one could expect from him in his debut. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in his six innings, striking out three. That is essentially the pitcher he has been throughout his career, as Fiers has a lifetime 4.05 ERA and a 1.262 WHiP over his 1147.2 major league innings.
This is what the A’s should expect from him going forward as well. Fiers will pitch between five and seven innings, allowing about a hit per inning with manageable walk rates. He will not strike out many batters, and allow two to four runs per game. That is perfectly acceptable for an innings eating fifth starter.
Oakland needs that right now. Due to inconsistencies in the rotation, the bullpen has gotten more work than they would have hoped for. Likewise, they need someone who they can count on every time out to just keep firing away, giving the team quality innings almost every time out. Fiers can be exactly that.
Mike Fiers is the veteran back of the rotation arm that contending teams look for. He is exactly what the Oakland A’s need right now.