Even if he hadn’t broken his arm this past Saturday in a Triple- A start, things were not looking good for the fairly young righty. But he did break his arm…so now things look even worse than not good.
During a start for the Nashville Sounds on Saturday, Mike Fiers took a line drive off of his right arm. It did not take long for confirmation that the arm was broken. Estimated healing and rehab time is anywhere from 10-12 weeks.
That would effectively eliminate him throwing another pitch in the minor leagues for 2013. So, unless the Brewers call him up in September without a single rehab start (let’s be honest, it would not be the most surprising thing this organization has ever pulled)…we have seen Fiers for the last time until next April.
I have always been a firm believer in Mike Fiers and what he can bring to this team, but this Spring Training opened my eyes. No mustache on earth could cover up the stink that started to emanate off of Fiers, no matter how gnarly.
While he had some success starting last year, there were also no books on the kid. No one had really faced him, or had the opportunity to learn his pitches and tendencies. It does not take long though for hitting coaches to figure a guy out.
Fast forward to this year. My how things have changed.
In 11 appearances with Brewers this year, he was rocking a 1-4 record that he paired nicely with a 7.25 ERA. Some of the highlights included: giving up a 12th inning walk-off home run to Andrew McCutchen, allowing 7 runs and only recording 5 outs against the Phillies, and a game in which he only gave up 5 hits…3 of which were home runs.
To call this season a setback, is not being realistic. The 2013 season has been a nightmare for Mike Fiers. It has been the equivalent of you walking into work tomorrow, your boss punching you in the face with your own fist, and then having a customer snap your arm over their knee like a tiny twig.
He started the 2013 calendar year as a lock to be in the starting rotation and will end it by making model cars in his garage…but they wont turn out very good. That cast will make the details on that model car impossible.
Reality Check: Mike Fiers turned 28 on Saturday (Happy Birthday?). By missing the rest of this season, he gives other young arms time to leap-frog him on the organization pecking order. He is still under Brewers control for a few more years, but that may not matter. With so many young arms working their way up, this could spell C-U-R-T-A-I-N-S for Fiers career in Milwaukee. Let’s keep it real here…his value may not be sky-high, but he is certainly the type of bargaining chip you like to have in your corner. Possible starter/long relief guy with low mileage, but still has major league experience. That is what most teams will want to get in return.
As a “Fiers Starter” (is that what his fans call themselves?), I am sad about this. Watching him develop last year was one of the high points of the season, at least in my eyes. Now he finds himself staring down the pit of eternal MiLB (Minor League Baseball, if you are not a total nerd). Even when he comes back next Spring, he is going to have an uphill battle. Here is a quick list of guys who will be looking to take his job next April:
Get well soon and get to work. Your life just got a lot more complicated.