There was one fateful night in mid-September that changed everything for me and Mike Fiers. He beaned mi novio in the cantaloupe. Giancarlo went down and Fiers stopped mattering to me. I couldn’t even look at him. I opened his ESPN player page and drew a black eye on his picture and blacked out a tooth, but that didn’t assuage me and now I Sharpie’d up my computer screen, making my porn-surfing that much more complicated. So, that fateful night, I went out to a hospital near me, hoping to take my mind off what transpired. In time of distress, I always find it’s best to be there for those less fortunate than me. In the ICU, I found an elderly man, who was on life support, with his family surrounding him. I pretended to be a nurse and asked the family to wait in the hallway. I put a Brewers hat on the elderly man and laid a Fiers jersey over his body. I proceeded to tell him how much I hated what he did to Giancarlo and I would never forgive him. With that, he opened his eyes and said, “Where’s my family?” Then he flatlined. In some weird way, this helped me put my hatred of Fiers behind me. This elderly man allowed me to move on. He sacrificed himself so I could look at Fiers with fresh eyes and consider him for a sleeper post. What a mensch! So, what can we expect of Mike Fiers for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
His 71 2/3 IP on the Brewers produced a 9.5 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 2.13 ERA. That alone should have you shifting yourself right or left. One game, where he had 14 Ks in six innings, did come against the K-razy Cubs, but even without that his K-rate was more than respectable (8.4). There’s two reasons why he won’t be immediately pegged by everyone as a sleeper, or at least shouldn’t be. Reasons that you should be aware of. Reasons– Okay, I’ll just tell you. He’s going to be 30 years old in 2015, and only has 223 2/3 IP under his belt. Also, he throws barely 90 MPH. Barely 90 MPH doesn’t scream a 9+ K/9. In fact, it screams more 7+ K/9 as he was closer to in 2013 (6 K/9), but that was an injury-plagued season, and in those 223 2/3 IP career innings, he has a 9.2 K/9. He gets by with pinpoint control and deception. You sneaky bastage! Deception I think is really the key. He hides the ball well and his release point for all pitches is almost identical. That means a hitter doesn’t know if a curve or a fastball or a change is coming. Oh, and his curve is more than 17 miles per hour slower with devastating movement. I want to say Fiers is like a knuckleball pitcher. A pleasant enough fastball and a nasty, much slower pitch. The only difference, Fiers can control it every time out, he’s not prone to which way the grass falls when you toss it into the wind. Why is he so old without much of a track record? Well, he lost 2013 to injuries and the Brewers dragged their feet promoting him for way too long. They’ve just been too enthralled with aging SPs. They’re likely to waste Jimmy Nelson’s year in 2015 and he’s 25. Speaking of Nelson, he could be in the running for the 5th starter job, so Fiers needs to be at his best in April, but, if the Brewers pass over an about-to-be-30-year-old who could be their best starter, I’ll be shocked. So shocked I’m going to stick my finger into an electric outlet to prove a point. Now there’s smoke coming from my hair, I hope the Brewers are happy. For 2015, I’ll give Fiers the projections of 12-8/3.35/1.15/189. Yes, that’s a strong number two for fantasy and I’m drafting him everywhere.