The Cubs are taking a flier on a familiar face with big league experience, but is coming off Tommy John Surgery:
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) December 11, 2015
Stephen Fife was selected in the third round (85th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 draft. The University of Utah product was part of a complex three-way trade between the Red Sox, Dodgers and Mariners which involved six players and ultimately landed Fife in Los Angeles with Erik Bedard being the big piece who ended up in Boston.
Fife allowed one run on four hits in six innings in his debut on July 17, 2012 against the Phillies. He made four more starts that season and finished with a 2.70 ERA/4.15 FIP/1.388 WHIP in 26.2 innings of work.
On Aug. 4, 2013, Fife pitched 5.1 scoreless innings against the Cubs.
Overall, Fife has three years of big league experience in which he has made 18 appearances (16 starts) and has posted a 3.66 ERA/4.59 FIP/1.473 WHIP in 91 innings.
Fife had Tommy John Surgery in August 2014 and hasn’t pitched since July 18, 2014 when he was throwing for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes. He hasn’t appeared in a big league game since making a spot start against the Marlins on May 4, 2014.
Fife isn’t the overpowering type, as his four-seamer and sinker were in the 89-90 mph range, while the cutter sat between 84-85 mph. However, his 49.1 ground ball percentage stands out when browsing through his batted ball rate over at Fangraphs.
His page at BrooksBaseball.net shows he was a four-pitch pitcher in the two seasons in which he made 17 appearances (15 starts). Fife was a four-pitch pitcher who worked primarily with his four-seam fastball (45.4 percent), curveball (26.6 percent) and cutter (21.4 percent). He also mixed in a sinker at a 6.5 percent usage rate.
With a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp in tow, Fife could be an arm to watch for as he tries to rehab his way back into The Show.
Here are some prior highlights of Fife’s big league career. Some of which even include game action called by Vin Scully.