I have noticed comments here and there bemoaning Doug Fister's performances since he returned from the disabled list. What I didn't notice were any numbers supporting the gripes so I decided to compile them.
Fister has accumulated almost as much time on the mound at this point pre and post injury. His core rates are very similar. He's throwing strikes just as often. He's actually getting more whiffs and more strikeouts. His walks are up a tick but amount to a difference of just four over his ten starts. The grounders are down, which is a legitimately bad trend, but it has yet to hurt him in the home run department. In the areas that matter most for future success, Doug Fister has been largely the exact same pitcher all season long.
What is different are the final four columns and the last two are heavily influenced by the first two. Fister ran a .235 BABIP before landing on the disabled list. It has climbed to .371 since he came back. Over the 238 batters faced since his first start back, that BABIP difference amounts to an extra 25 hits falling in. That's enormous. Those 25 would have been outs make up most of the difference in innings pitched by the way. Similarly, more of the base runners that's he allowed (thanks in part to those 25 hits) have come around to score.
I am not claiming that .235 is Fister's true-talent BABIP or that he should strand 80% of his base runners going forward. I am merely pointing out that the differences between the pre and post-injury rates and theorizing that said gaps are what is fueling the notion that Fister has gotten worse. It is really hard to escape the influence of runs scored on our psyche. Fight it.