Mike Fiers
Mike Fiers
33-Year-Old PitcherSP
Oakland Athletics
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Fiers was dealt from Detroit to Oakland in early August and went on a great run (5-1, 2.90 ERA, 0.99 WHIP in 49.2 innings) to help the A's secure a wild-card spot. He slipped up in a relief appearance in his final outing of the regular season, but in the end, Fiers had some of the best numbers of his career. His 5.2% walk rate was a career low and a big improvement on 2017 (9.2%), helping lead to his second-lowest WHIP. However, he needed quite a bit of good fortune to get there (84.2 LOB%, .269 BABIP). He lost some of his strikeout punch (19.5%) and home runs remained a big issue (1.67 HR/9), even as he pitched in two bottom-10 parks for homers. Indeed his FIP (4.75) was well over a run higher than his ERA (3.56), and was a bottom-five mark among qualified starters. After returning to the A's, Fiers will continue to toe the rubber every fifth day, but if he gives back even some of the control gains, things could get ugly. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year contract with the Athletics in December of 2018.
Saddled with loss
POakland Athletics
March 20, 2019
Fiers gave up five runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three in three frames Wednesday against the Mariners. He took the loss.
All but one of the baserunners he allowed came around to score, due largely to a Domingo Santana grand slam in the third inning. Fiers is far from a reliable starter, but the hope is that he keeps the A's in enough games for their bullpen and offense to carry the day more often than not. That was obviously not the case in this one. He should take the hill again next week in the first series of the year against the Angels.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .253 1017 200 81 233 46 4 39
Since 2016vs Right .277 1094 219 60 278 57 4 51
2018vs Left .233 367 73 26 79 17 1 15
2018vs Right .267 349 66 11 88 15 2 17
2017vs Left .256 331 68 37 74 11 2 15
2017vs Right .275 340 78 25 83 13 1 17
2016vs Left .272 319 59 18 80 18 1 9
2016vs Right .287 405 75 24 107 29 1 17
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 3.78 1.24 283.2 17 13 0 7.8 2.3 1.4
Since 2016Away 5.22 1.42 210.1 14 13 0 7.4 2.9 2.0
2018Home 2.81 1.16 102.1 8 2 0 7.6 1.9 1.3
2018Away 4.65 1.21 69.2 4 6 0 6.8 1.9 2.2
2017Home 4.57 1.30 86.2 3 6 0 8.2 3.1 1.7
2017Away 6.08 1.59 66.2 5 4 0 9.0 4.3 2.2
2016Home 4.09 1.28 94.2 6 5 0 7.6 2.0 1.1
2016Away 4.99 1.46 74.0 5 3 0 6.6 2.6 1.7
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Stat Review
How does Mike Fiers compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
89.4 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
His career 8.5 K/9 might suggest otherwise, but Fiers relies heavily on deception ahead of power: his fastball sits in the low-90s and is aided by an unusual delivery and arm angle which work to hide his release point. Unfortunately, Fiers hasn't been able to deceive opposing hitters as much in recent years, as he's allowed 1.6 HR/9 over the last two seasons -- a disturbing trend in one of baseball's most prolific homer eras. The right-hander also experienced an uptick in walks last season, with his BB/9 rate leaping from 2.2 BB/9 to 3.6. The Astros, with a plethora of capable starting options, declined to tender Fiers a contract for 2018. The 32-year-old will get a chance to start again after signing with the Tigers, and his diverse arsenal can still guide him through occasional periods of success, but chasing Fiers' good starts will likely prove detrimental.
Fiers' first full season in Houston was a mixed bag, as he showed skills growth with an improved walk rate (2.2 BB/9) and the highest groundball rate of his big league career (42.2 percent), but struggled to keep the ball in the yard with the highest home-run rate (1.39 HR/9) he's had in any campaign as a pro. Little has changed with Fiers' arsenal, but his high-80s fastball, which is only effective when he's painting the corners of the strike zone, was hammered by opposing hitters to the tune of a .343 batting average against and a .653 slugging percentage against. By comparison, the opposition hit .246 with a .453 slugging percentage against Fiers' fastball in 2015, so he's shown an ability to get by without good velocity in the past. He may prove capable of shaving a half-run from his 2016 ERA, but expecting more than that level of improvement without a significant change to his pitch mix is a stretch.
Acquired by the Astros with Carlos Gomez at the trade deadline, Fiers pitched well for his new club after a rough start to the season with Milwaukee. The 30-year-old right-hander went beyond the sixth inning just once in his first 12 starts, as a lack of velocity (89.4 mph) often forced him to nibble around the strike zone, which often led to high pitch counts. Despite his early struggles, Fiers logged a career-high 180.1 innings in 31 appearances (30 starts) between the Astros and Brewers, going 7-10 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He did allow 24 home runs on the season for a terrible 1.2 HR/9, but he still struck out nearly a batter per inning and owned a 3.32 ERA and 1.06 WHIP after arriving in Houston. Fiers is projected as the Astros' fourth starter to open 2016.
A trying 2013 season landed Fiers at Triple-A Nashville to open the 2014 season, and he made all of four appearances for the Brewers before August. However, that was due to the depth of the rotation at the big league level, as Fiers was brilliant with Nashville. He sustained that success when he was called up to Milwaukee, and did not give up more than three earned runs in any of his 10 major league starts. Fiers does not have a big fastball, but he has struck out over a batter per inning and owns a 1.18 WHIP over his big league career. Thanks to his impressive 2014 campaign, consider Fiers the front-runner for the Brewers’ fifth starter job.
Fiers burst onto the scene in 2012, posting a 1.80 ERA over his first 13 games (12 starts), but he faltered late that year, and his struggles carried over to 2013. Fiers won the fifth starter job during spring training, but was removed from the rotation after just one appearance, sent to the minors, and briefly recalled before being sent down again in June. When it was all said and done, Fiers ended up giving up 18 earned runs over 22.1 innings with the Brewers and saw his season come to an early end after breaking his arm in June. Fiers was effective at first thanks to a deceptive delivery, but he does not possess a formidable arsenal, and it’s highly unlikely he will regain the form that led to his initial success in 2012.
Fiers was the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011, but few expected him to throw the ball as well as he did in his first stint in the majors. Fiers tired late in the season and finished with a 3.74 ERA, but he also posted a 135:36 K:BB ratio over 127.2 innings and held the opposition to two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 22 starts. Although he pitched well in his first exposure to big league hitters, he will need to earn his place in the rotation by pitching well again in spring training, and it is unclear if the Brewers would consider him for long relief if he fails to lock down a starting gig in Arizona this spring.
Fiers started last season at Double-A Huntsville and ended in Milwaukee. He doesn't throw hard, but has a funky delivery that helped him strikeout more than a batter per inning in 2011. Fiers has an outside chance at a rotation spot in 2012, but could also stick as a long reliever in the bullpen thanks to a four-pitch arsenal and low walk rate. In many ways, his role and upside could parallel that of Arizona's Josh Collmenter.
More Fantasy News
Serves up three homers
POakland Athletics
March 13, 2019
Fiers allowed five runs on eight hits and one walk across 3.1 innings during Wednesday's spring game against the Cubs.
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Gets Opening Day nod
POakland Athletics
March 9, 2019
The Athletics named Fiers as their starter for the March 20 season opener versus the Mariners in Japan, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
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Strikes out five in spring debut
POakland Athletics
February 27, 2019
Fiers struck out five and gave up one run on three hits and no walks over three innings Tuesday in the Athletics' 17-5 exhibition loss to the Angels.
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Returns to Oakland
POakland Athletics
December 22, 2018
Fiers signed a two-year deal to return to Oakland on Saturday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
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Becomes free agent
PFree Agent
November 30, 2018
Fiers was non-tendered by Oakland on Friday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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