Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked about the rehab process for 30-year-old right-hander Doug Fister with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. on Wednesday during his weekly appearance on the Nats' flagship station.
The former Detroit Tigers' starter, acquired in a 3-for-1 deal this winter, made just two starts this spring before elbow inflammation and then a right lat strain sidelined him. Since then he's gone through a progression of throwing on flat ground and more recently in bulllpen sessions as he's worked to build arm strength. The next step after the bullpen session was for Fister to throw in simulated games.
"Doug Fister is progressing nicely," Rizzo said. "He is going to fly down to Florida -- after we leave here in Miami, he's going to go to Viera and pitch a simulated game in the next day or so, and he's well on his way if everything goes well to rejoin us in another couple of weeks."
According to reports from Nationals Park this afternoon, where the Nationals are preparing to start a four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals, Fister did throw a simulated game today and everything went well:
Doug Fister threw 28 pitches, 2 innings, in extended spring training today. Matt Williams says reports were good. 45 pitches/3 IP next time.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) April 17, 2014
Doug Fister threw 2 innings at extended spring training today and "felt good about it," per Matt Williams. 28 pitches. 3 innings next time.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) April 17, 2014
Assuming all goes well, Fister could be back in about 20 days. Needs one more start at extended ST, then probably two rehab starts.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) April 17, 2014
Williams said Fister will need one more outing at extended spring training before minor league rehab assignments. Likely 2 ML starts.— Chase Hughes (@chasehughesCSN) April 17, 2014
In his final season with the Tigers in 2013, the 6'8'' righty was (14-9) with a 3.67 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 44 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 159 Ks (6.86 K/9) in 33 games, 32 starts and 208 2/3 IP.
The Nationals acquired the ground ball pitcher in return for 25-year-old utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi and 22-year-old lefties Ian Krol and Robbie Ray with the intention of making him the fourth starter behind Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez. With Fister unavailable, Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan have filled out the Nats' rotation.