Saturday, June 2, 2012

#182 Mike Fischlin - Cleveland Indians

Mike Fischlin is shown here on his second Topps card.  He first appears in a Topps set on one of those ill conceived black and white rookie prospect cards four years earlier in the '79 set.  He had played in the majors as early as 1977.

This is a great view of Fischlin's batting stance.  Beleive it or not, he actually carried his bat this low as he waited for the pitcher to go into his motion.  Another look at his crouched stance can be seen on his '84 card.

Player:  Mike Fischlin was drafted by the Yankees in 1975 and later sent to the Astros with two others in a three-for-one deal for Cliff Johnson in '77.  He was a late season call up for Houston in '77 and mainly used a defensive sub, registering three hits in fifteen at bats. 

In '78 Fischlin was part of the revolving door at shortstop for the Astros.  Playing in 44 games he batted just .116 and had a .928 fielding percentage for -1.6 WAR.  A poor year at AAA kept him in the minors for all of 1979. 

An improved '80 season at AAA Tucson got him a September look for the Astros but he struckout in his only at bat.  Before the '81 season he was traded to the Indians but spent most of the year in the minors.  When he was called up to Cleveland he batted .233 in 48 plate appearances.

The '82 season would be Fischlin's first complete season in the majors.  He started out in a utility role but ended the year as the starting shortstop.  He played good defense (0.7 dWAR) and showed improved hitting.  Thanks to his new batting stance he batted .268 with a .351 on base percentage. 

He spent the next three years as a reserve hitting .209, .226, and .200 as his role gradually was reduced from 266 plate appearances in '83 to just 69 in '85.

After the '85 season he was dealt to the Yankees and filled in as a defensive sub at second and short.  He made 116 plate appearances and batted .206.  Following the season he signed with the Braves as a free agent but other than one game in '87, he spent the rest of his playing career in the minors. 

Flipside:  You see Fischlin hadn't hit a home run through 1982.  He would get off the schneid with two dingers in September of '83.  The first would be off John Tudor to lead off the fifth inning on 9/9Eleven days later he took another lefty deep when he knocked a grand slam off Mike Caldwell.
Fischlin added a third career homer the next year when he went yard on southpaw Floyd Bannister on 7/7/84.  Those are Fischlin's three career homers...he never did take a righty deep.

Oddball:  Fischlin was pressed into service as a catcher on 5/1/82 after Chris Bando (who had earlier pinch hit for starter Ron Hassey) broke his finger in the seventh inning.  The gangly 6'1" 165 lb Fischlin must have been quite a sight in the catchers gear. 
The aggressive A's already up 7-2 in the game, stole three bases off the emergency receiver. 

History:  Fischlin hit .220 in his ten year career and never saw the postseason.  After his playing career he managed for two years in the Blue Jays farm system. 
Fischlin was a high school teammate of uber-agent Scott Boras and one of his first clients.  These days Fischlin works as his Vice President of player development. 

No comments:

Post a Comment