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Doug Fister's Nationals debut... finally: Nats' offseason acquisition vs A's tonight

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Doug Fister was supposed to give the Washington Nationals one of the strongest rotations in baseball. A right lat strain landed him on the DL this spring, but he's finally scheduled to make his Nats debut tonight in Oakland. The Fister era begins tonight...

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

[ed. note - "Every Friday morning throughout this season, assuming that they will continue to have us, Federal Baseball will be writing a post over at's Nationals Buzz, "... as part of's season-long initiative of welcoming guest," writers to their site. I substituted the word "writers" for "bloggers" there. All opinions expressed are our own... Our sixth or seventh (we lost count)  post of the season follows... You can read the entire post HERE or through the link included below."]:

"It brings a veteran arm who's got postseason experience and knows how to throw 200-plus innings every year and put up some great numbers..." - Stephen Strasburg on addition of Doug Fister, Winter 2014

Gio Gonzalez said this winter that he was a "big, big fan of Doug Fister." The acquisition of the 6-foot-8 right-hander, according to Gonzalez, was like "knowing that you just got the brand-new car you wanted for Christmas."

"For me," Gonzalez said, "when you've got someone with that kind of presence, he's going to set the tone in the fourth spot, fifth spot, first spot, second spot. It doesn't matter where he is in that rotation. He's just going to be to us an ace."

Ross Detwiler, who ended up in the Nats bullpen, was expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Stephen Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Fister when he talked to reporters this winter about the rotation the Nationals put together for the 2014 campaign.

"The first four, the top four," Detwiler said, "we can go up against any rotation, anywhere."

"It brings a veteran arm who's got postseason experience and knows how to throw 200-plus innings every year and put up some great numbers," Strasburg said. "So I'm excited to have him as part of the rotation and I think he's going to be a great addition and excited to just learn from him."

In his fifth major league season in 2013, Fister was 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 44 walks (1.90 walks/nine innings) and 159 Ks (6.86 strikeouts/nine innings) in 33 games, 32 starts and 208 2/3 innings, over which he was worth +4.6 fWAR. In 121 starts in his career, Fister has a 3.53 ERA, a 3.44 FIP, 1.81 BB/9 and 6.28 K/9 in 818 2/3 innings.

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