There was reason for great concern when Tigers right-hander Doug Fister got nailed in the side of the head by a line drive during his Game 2 start against the Giants. But he continued pitching, had no issues on the Tigers’ flight from San Francisco to Detroit, and is still free of concussion-like symptoms.
According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand assured reporters on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park that Fister will be ready to make his Game 6 start if the series goes that far.
“He’s never had a headache. He’s never had dizziness.” Rand said. “He’s had no symptoms at any time.”
Fister didn’t undergo an MRI or CT scan, but he was checked out — and cleared to play — by Dr. Michael Workings, who serves as a specialist for the NFL’s Detroit Lions and deals often with head injuries.
Fister, 28, boasts a sparkling 1.40 ERA through 19 1/3 innings (three starts) this postseason.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.