Fiers was in a battle with rotation mate Frankie Montas to start Opening Day when spring training was suspended, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. The veteran right-hander got plenty of work in before play was paused, logging 13 innings across four Cactus League starts and working up to 74 pitches in his last outing March 10. Fiers posted an elevated 4.85 ERA over that span, but two of his four appearances were scoreless. Fiers managed career bests in starts (33) and wins (15) in 2019 with a solid 3.90 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
Fiers, who allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk across five innings in a Cactus League loss to the Royals on Tuesday, feels sufficiently tuned up at this point in spring, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. "I feel good at this point," Fiers said. "I could start the season in my next start and feel like I would be fine." The veteran right-hander allowed a solo home run to Nicky Lopez on his third pitch, but he was largely effective the rest of the way while working up to 74 pitches, 57 of which found the strike zone. Gallegos reports Fiers was particularly consistent in getting ahead of hitters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 16 of 22 batters. Fiers will likely work up to approximately 90 pitches in a start versus the Padres on Sunday, and he remains in contention with Frankie Montas for an Opening Day start. "A lot of strikes with all his pitches and that's what you want to see right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's getting a better feel at this point in time. He threw his curveball for a strike, his cutter, his changeup. Pretty similar to his last time out."
Fiers fired four shutout innings in a Cactus League win over the Dodgers on Thursday, allowing one hit and no walks while recording four strikeouts. Fiers gave up only a second-inning single during the stellar outing, one in which Chris Haft of MLB.com reports the veteran right-hander reached his target of 60 pitches. He earned praise from manager Bob Melvin for how effective he was with his entire four-pitch arsenal. The strong showing was a welcome sight for Fiers, who'd allowed five earned runs on four hits and three walks across two innings in his previous Cactus League start against the Reds on Saturday.
Fiers allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings in a no-decision against the Mariners on Friday night. This was another step forward for Fiers after a brutal stretch from mid-August to mid-September in which he gave up 12 homers in 24.1 innings. In his final two regular-season starts, Fiers allowed two runs on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over 13 innings. Overall, he ranks top 10 among qualified American League starters in wins, innings, ERA and WHIP, but it probably won't be enough to get him the start in the Wild Card Game over lefty Sean Manaea.
Fiers (15-4) allowed only two hits over eight scoreless innings Friday, striking out five and earning the win in an 8-0 victory over the Rangers. Fiers' durability was in question after he left his previous start with nerve irritation in his arm, but it didn't seem to bother the right-hander in this start. Fiers threw 65 of his 95 pitches for strikes and erased the only two hits he allowed with a double play and a pickoff. Prior to Friday, the 34-year-old had allowed 16 runs over his previous 7.2 innings. Fiers has a 3.91 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 122 strikeouts in 179.2 innings this season. He lines up to face the Mariners on Thursday for what is likely his final start of the year.
Last 7 Games