Fien looking forward to Astros spring training
Casey Fien is hoping he quickly makes a good impression on the
Houston Astros during spring training this year.
He sure doesn’t want to have to go on another wild journey to
find a place to pitch.
Last spring, the 27-year-old right-hander went from the Detroit
Tigers to the Boston Red Sox to the Toronto Blue Jays and back to
the Tigers again, all within three weeks.
”They called me the Traveling Man, which I felt like,” Fien
said Thursday before his first throwing session with the Astros.
”Going from team to team, I got to meet a bunch of new guys and
coaches, but I just wanted to play, get on the mound and compete.
By the time I got (back) to Detroit I hadn’t even pitched in a game
yet and there was like 10 days left.”
He spent most of the season with Toledo, the Triple-A affiliate
of the Tigers, who released him after the season. He was 3-3 with a
2.60 ERA and eight saves for Toledo in 44 outings
With the help of a recommendation from Astros starter Bud
Norris, his roommate at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Fien signed with
Houston in November.
”I told my agent whatever team comes after me, that’s the team
I want,” Fien said. ”They obviously want me so I’m going to go to
Manager Brad Mills said it’s impossible to assess Fien’s chances
at this point. Fien is a non-roster invitee on a team with 30
pitchers in camp.
”We’ve heard a lot of good things about the command of his
pitches and how he throws the ball, so we’re just going to wait and
see,” Mills said. ”Let him go through camp a few days and then
start throwing in the games. Let’s keep an open mind on
If he sticks around a few more days, Fien will be doing better
than last year.
After appearing in nine big league games for the Tigers in 2009,
he started the spring on Detroit’s roster, but was designated for
assignment Feb. 23. Six days later, Fien was claimed on waivers by
Boston, but he never even worked out for the Red Sox. On March 4,
the Blue Jays claimed him on waivers, only to release him March
”They got my medical report, which they didn’t have before they
signed me, and they were just afraid that I was going to blow out.
I felt fine,” Fien said. ”I had an MRI done and some doctors said
I was fine and others said I wasn’t, so some teams took one
doctor’s opinion over the other.”
By the time the Traveling Man rejoined the Tigers, spring
training was almost over.
”It was just frustrating, feeling like you weren’t wanted,” he
said. ”You think that you’re going to get a chance somewhere and
then all of a sudden you don’t even get a chance to pitch.
”I was in Boston for three days and then Toronto for two weeks
and they didn’t even let me get on the mound,” Fien said. ”I was
questioning them and they never answered me, but then I got my
release and went back to Detroit.”
The Tigers called him up twice, each time for one game.
”They actually told me I was going down before I pitched,”
Fien recalled. ”They were like: ‘Listen, just go out there and try
to get some outs. You won’t be here long.”’
He was never anywhere for long last year. Maybe this year will
”They just told me to go out and compete for a job,” Fien
said. ”I’m just going to do the best I can and let the pieces fall
where they may.”