LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter has nothing but respect for Nationals right-hander Doug Fister. The two were teammates in Detroit last year and, according to Hunter, not only was Fister a workhorse on the mound, he was a great listener.
"I would give him the information as far as hitters, finances, family issues and everything like that," Hunter said. "We talked it up every day. He is such a great guy. He is unbelievable. He is one of the best personalities in the game."
Hunter was surprised when he heard that Fister is currently dealing with elbow inflammation, but he believes Fister will bounce back because of his work ethic. Hunter said Fister was a bulldog with the Tigers, with whom he won 14 games and pitched 208 2/3 innings last season.
"We are going to miss him," Hunter said. "He pitched well for us all year. He knows how to pitch. When this guy throws the ball, he throws the sinker, the cutter, he keeps you off balance. He creates a lot of ground balls. So we are going to miss him. It's as simple as that. The Nationals picked up something special. He wants the ball every inning, he wants the ball every fifth day. Trust me, it's going to be a lot of fun [watching him throw]."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.