Erick Fedde was back and forth between the majors and minors again in 2019, and he made appearances as part of the rotation and bullpen for the World Series champion Washington Nationals in the regular season.
Fedde made 21 appearances (and 12 starts) in the majors, in which he put up a 4.50 ERA, a 5.34 FIP, 33 walks (3.81 BB/9), 41 strikeouts (4.73 K/9), and a .297/.369/.491 line in 60 1⁄3 innings of work as a starter, with a .197/.286/.295 line against in 17 2⁄3 IP as a reliever.
Though he didn’t appear in the postseason, Fedde was part of the club that brought a World Series title back to D.C. for the first time since 1924.
His takeaway from his third season in the majors, and the experience of contributing to a club that won it all?
“It was a year where I got to do a lot in the sense of starting and relieving,” Fedde said.
“Kind of just been the same old role of whatever I could do to help this team. It’s a benefit to be on a winning team where they just try to fit you in wherever you can help, and just trying to take things one step at a time again this year.”
Fedde, 26, and a 2014 1st Round pick, is set up to compete for the fifth spot in the Nats’ rotation this Spring, but getting work as a reliever this past season has him feeling more comfortable that he can contribute in any was he’s asked to going forward.
“It’s one of those things where you’ve just got to do whatever it takes to help the team,” he said of starting and relieving, “but yeah, going through everything and experiencing that, I think that’s really the best way to learn is going through it.”
The Nationals, as a team, made five trips to the postseason before they were able to get out of the NLDS, and, Fedde said, going into the 2020 campaign, they now have confidence in their ability to do what it takes to win it all.
“Our big thing was to even win a playoff series,” Fedde explained, “and now we’re over a big hump, and I think there’s just going to be a lot of belief on this team, a lot of guys returning, and a lot of experience.”
How will coming into a season as the defending World Series champs change things?
“It’s exciting,” Fedde said, “and I guess a new challenge that we’re probably all really excited to take on.”
As he prepares for another season in the organization, the right-hander said, he’s once again trying to put on a bit of weight to help him endure the rigors of a professional schedule, knowing now the work it takes to get through a full campaign. His focus this time around?
“I think it’s just kind of cleaning everything up and working on fine-tuning some stuff,” Fedde said.
“I really liked where I was at the beginning of last year, so just watching film on that and trying to replicate that hopefully for a full season.”
“Always putting on weight, that’s always been my thing,” he added, “but just fine-tuning at this point and really trying to put the guy I believe I am out on the mound.”
Looking around at the starters the Nationals have assembled, Fedde said he’s trying his best to emulate the other members of the rotation in bulking up and building strength.
“If you look at our rotation it’s all just beasts,” he said.
“I don’t want to be the skinny guy anymore, so I’m trying to come in and be just as big as everybody else.”