Monday, February 09, 2015

Padres Sign Shields: Is this a good thing?

You always here analysts talking who "won the offseason" or who improved their teams the most. Is seems to me that this mostly turns out to be bunk and that teams typically have to play together and gel before you can really see how improved they are. That said, the Padres have picked up quite a few players this offseason:  Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Will Middlebrooks, to name four (actually it's starting to remind me of the late 1970s-early 1980s era when Ray Kroc was throwing his McDonald's money around: Steve Garvey, Rich Gossage, Graig Nettles, Rollie Fingers, Gene Tenace..) and we're starting to hear talk that the Padres may have made themselves contenders - even though they have to content with the Giants and Dodgers in the powerful N.L. West.

Their latest signing appears to be James Shields, the erstwhile Kansas City and Tampa ace, who helped lead both his former teams to World Series appearances. There is no doubt Shields has been a good pitcher, winning 114 Major League games over the past nine years. But, the thing that worries me (and may very well have worried other major league teams) is that he has been a workhorse, and has been touted as thus. In the ESPN article announcing he's come to terms with the Padres (4-year, $75M range), it says, "Shields ranks first among MLB pitchers with 1,785 2/3 innings pitched since 2007," like that's a good thing. (That doesn't include 59 postseason innings either.) I would think it means that the big righthander is getting close to his expiration date, but we'll see. He is going to be pitching in a very pitcher friendly home park....Anyhow, good luck San Diego, it would be nice to see you challenge the Dodgers and Giants.

No comments: