Fis­ter seeks and re­ceives his re­lease

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL - By Pe­dro Moura pe­dro.moura@la­times.com

NEW YORK — The An­gels on Wed­nes­day cut short their ex­per­i­ment to find start­ing-pitch­ing depth on the mid­sea­son free-agent mar­ket. They re­leased vet­eran right-han­der Doug Fis­ter from their triple-A af­fil­i­ate.

Af­ter the An­gels asked him to re­main in the mi­nor leagues to make more starts, Fis­ter re­quested and re­ceived his re­lease, un­der the terms of the opt-out clause in his con­tract. The club paid him less than $20,000.

Fis­ter, 33, had sus­tained suc­cess in the ma­jor leagues but strug­gled to a 4.64 ERA for Hous­ton last year. His ve­loc­ity steadily de­creased in re­cent sea­sons.

The An­gels re­peat­edly said they were en­cour­aged by the ve­loc­ity he dis­played over three triple-A starts, in which he logged a 4.02 ERA.

But gen­eral man­ager Billy Ep­pler and the club’s staffers have grown in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent in other pitch­ers who have emerged in the five weeks since Fis­ter signed.

“Billy went through all of the sce­nar­ios,” An­gels man­ager Mike Scios­cia said, “and felt like right now, this is the way to go.”

A year ago this week, the An­gels pro­moted Tim Lince­cum and watched him pitch to a league-worst 9.16 ERA over nine starts. Then, be­cause of in­juries, they had no al­ter­na­tives.

This year, they have suc­cess­fully turned to righthanders Alex Meyer and Parker Brid­well from triple-A Salt Lake.

“Both of them have pitched well,” Ep­pler said. “We’re com­fort­able with those guys. That was, ul­ti­mately, the de­ci­sion that our baseball op­er­a­tions and our staff has made.”

He said the pos­si­bil­ity of Fis­ter’s mov­ing into a bullpen role wasn’t broached.

Short hops

Hus­ton Street ar­rived in New York on Wed­nes­day. The right-han­der ex­pects to be ac­ti­vated Thurs­day for the first time this sea­son. He was out be­cause of a lat strain suf­fered in March. … Matt Shoe­maker (fore­arm strain) again played catch, hop­ing to be ac­ti­vated in time to start Sun­day in Bos­ton. … Mike Trout con­tin­ues to work out in his home­town of Mil­lville, N.J. Scios­cia said Trout was tak­ing “baby steps” in his re­cov­ery from a torn thumb lig­a­ment.

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