DETROIT — Quite a bit has happened since Doug Fister was traded to the Detroit Tigers last July — for both Fister, his new team and his old one, the Seattle Mariners.
“It was a whirlwind last year, making the transition, getting to the postseason,” Fister said. “I grew up in the Mariners organization, now I’m proud to be a Tiger.”
Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 earned run average in Detroit after he and David Pauley were dealt for Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush and minor league third baseman Francisco Martinez.
Has that — and two 2011 postseason wins — changed the expectations on Fister?
“I don’t recognize the expectations of others,” the 28-year-old said. “I know what mine are, and they’ve never waivered. I want to give my team the chance to win every game I pitch.”
This season, in his first start, Fister went 32/3 innings and pulled an oblique muscle in his side, landing him on the 15-day disabled list. He’ll come off today.
Fister won’t face the Mariners, which made this week’s reunion easier.
“I always felt the support of the guys in Seattle,” Fister said. “I got telephone calls, texts, everything. What I feel for most of those guys goes beyond friendship — they’re like brothers in another clubhouse.”
Much of the mid-afternoon Wednesday, before batting practice for either team, Fister met with former Mariners teammates in a Comerica Park hallway.
“I’ve come a long way in baseball, and the Mariners were a huge part of that,” Fister said. “Except against us, I wish them the best.”
Day off for Figgins
Chone Figgins got his first day off when he wasn’t in manager Eric Wedge’s starting lineup, which was a major departure from most Seattle has posted this season.
Dustin Ackley led off and Brendan Ryan batted second. Alex Liddi was the third baseman, batting sixth, and Justin Smoak was back after a two-game absence.
“Figgy needed a day off, we wanted to get Ackley up top and give Ryan a look batting second,” Wedge said. “We wanted Jesus Montero to catch Felix tonight and Miguel Olivo to catch Hector Noesi (today).”
“Alex is young, athletic and has power,” Wedge said. “We’ve considered putting him in the outfield to get him more at-bats, and he’s good with that.
“We have to see him as a player, he doesn’t have any one glaring weakness, but we’re not sure how good he is.”
Carp’s time table
The Mariners have worked out a time table for Mike Carp in Tacoma, and it includes playing a little first base, outfield and designated hitter in the next four or five days.
“It might even be a week, depending on how he feels. He’s had some soreness, but we checked him out and it’s all good,” Wedge said. “We’ll get him back soon, though not as soon as Mike would like.”
Someone asked who, once Carp returns, will play third base — Liddi, Kyle Seager or Chone Figgins.
“All of them,” Wedge said, smiling. “Trust me.”
Larry LaRue, The News Tribune