The Detroit Tigers have signed Mike Fiers to a one-year deal. The Tigers hope the 32-year-old righty can regain some of his 2015 luster and trade him later in the season.
Fiers’ stuff has been lacking with the new juiced balls. Using a sub-90 mph fastball, his home run rate and ERA have increased each year since the new ball was introduced.
When he gets hit, he gets hit hard.
One item to watch with Fiers is whether the Tigers mess around with his pitch mix. His four-seamer is borderline elite with an insane flyball rate (48%) and an above average number of swings-and-misses (9%). While flyballs may not seem ideal with the juiced ball, the ones that stay in the park are easy outs.
His change and curve are probably a tick below average but do generate some misses (> 10% swinging strike rate) and a good number of groundballs (both over 50%). He toys with a horrible cutter and sinker, which he should drop.
Besides finding a workable mix of pitches, Fiers needs to get back to a sub-3.0 walk rate after seeing it rise to 3.6 BB/9 last season. He can’t be walking hitters with his high home run rate.
Fiers might become a usable fantasy option, but don’t count on it. Ignore him on draft day, but monitor him for any positive changes. He could revert to his 2013 form with a sub-2.50 ERA and over 9.5 K/9. There is just no way to know for sure.
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