Fister slowly rounding into form

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Like Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Doug Fister held off on his throwing program until later in the offseason so that he could rest his arm. Like Verlander and Scherzer, he's hoping to use the longer Spring Training schedule to increase his workload gradually leading up to Opening Day.

It's a process, and not always a smooth one. While he used a sharp breaking ball to rack up five strikeouts in three-plus innings on Saturday against the Jays, he didn't have the consistency he wanted -- resulting in four runs.

"I felt good. That's the first time all spring I felt like I had much behind [my pitches] or the ability to control where [the ball was] going," Fister said. "But I didn't execute today. Physically, I felt good. But, obviously, I didn't get the results I wanted to. It's a good-and-bad day."

The breaking ball was a point of emphasis for him going into the start.

"So far, it's been hit and miss," Fister said. "Today felt a lot better with it, trying to throw it a lot more."

Fister gave up a first-inning home run to Jose Bautista, but settled down from there until he gave up a double and two walks in the fourth inning.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.