Lowering Your Shields

I’d like to take a moment to talk about a big name pitcher who isn’t talked about much anymore. James Shields started off the season strong, holding a ridiculous 12.20...

I’d like to take a moment to talk about a big name pitcher who isn’t talked about much anymore. James Shields started off the season strong, holding a ridiculous 12.20 K/9 through his first 9 starts. Since then, his K rate has sat below 9.00, while he features a 3.54 BB/9 and a 3.86 ERA for the season. His stuff from last night – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – reaffirms the disappointment he has been in San Diego, flexing K potential without stability in ERA/WHIP. While The List was in session, I had Shields at #50, and entering 2016 I don’t see much of a change from his poor ranking. He’ll be flying off boards quickly (the Padres have improved, he’ll get more wins, his K rate is incredible!), and I’ll be happy to see him go in the Top 30 SP as I once again avoid a giant headache created by the classic game of Do I Start Him Tonight Or Do I Want To Keep My Sanity. Good ole DISHTODIWTKMS. It’s a doozy.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:


Henry Owens – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. He matched up against the O’s and make excellent work of them. I think Owens has a future of being a solid streaming Toby next year, but nothing more than that.

Dallas Keuchel – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Way to make sure your case for the AL Cy Young is still intact after last time’s debacle.

Chris Young – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He’s so freaking boring that he got pulled with a no-hitter and Yost didn’t even realize.

John Lackey – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Lackey probably had the most surprising year from people who didn’t own him. Yes he did have a sub 2.75 ERA this year. Crazy, I know.

Jake Arrieta – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace.

Jacob deGrom – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. My two favorite undervalued pitchers pre-season are still getting it done deep in September. Hard not to love that.

Alex Wood – 5.1 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. And one that reminds me that Fantasy Baseball can at times be be a tough pill to swallow. WE COULD HAVE BEEN SOMETHING WOOD.

Ervin Santana – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. In my mind, the MFRTSPA is between Santana, Trevor May, and Tyler Duffey. They are the three guys that I’ve considered starting the most, and Kyle Gibson can go hideout in his treehouse for all I care. No, it’s not a cool treehouse and it looks like a Fisher Price brand.

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I’ll take it, but Severino you gotta show me some more K upside.

Martin Perez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Didn’t think Perez had it in him to strikeout a batter per inning. Now I definitely don’t expect him to do that twice in a row…

Ubaldo Jimenez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I still hate you Ubaldo. You know what you did.

Jered Weaver – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Both Tim Hudson and A.J. Burnett are retiring at the end of the year, but Weaver will still believe he has enough spool left in his thread for another magical season 4.86 ERA. Such a gift.

Tyler Cravy – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. No one is craving Cravy. Well, maybe those that don’t know how to spell Gravy or are missing that last little line to turn a C into a G. It’s a super important line and don’t you forget it.

Zack Godley – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The False God.

Aaron Harang – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. HARRRRRAAANNNGG

A.J. Burnett – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. AJ should be in line for a start against the Reds next week after doing a solid job against the Cubs and if you need that extra outing, I’d roll with him. It may be the last time he ever pitches given that the Pirates could

Hisashi Iwakuma – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Wait, just one strikeout? Come on Iwakuma, you’re better than this and we all know it. Actually, fine. I’m okay with this because you were just lowering your stock for 2016. THANKS BUD.

Matt Andriese – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Not for me, not for you, not for that guy you nod your head to everyone once in a while as you get the mail. I give you guys another month before it’s just an odd stare.

Mark Buehrle – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The Burly Buehrle was as Blegh as you can be. Those five Ks tie his second highest total of the season. Yuuuuuuup.

Danny Salazar – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Salazar’s road of 2015 is riddled with sewer holes, traffic cones, and floating pots of gold worth 50 points. Tonight’s outing was a clean road during the loading screen between levels.

Gio Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Gio…Dude…

Erik Johnson – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m willing to acknowledge that Johnson’s 2015 debut was more of an anomaly than an indication of his future performance as after walking zero batters in his first outing, he’s walked 15 total across the other four starts. He’s not the guy you want next season.

Chris Heston – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I really liked Heston’s streamability this week, and even with this bump against Oakland, I have to like Heston hosting the Rockies this week.

Chris Rusin – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Rusin has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.

Tom Koehler – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Sometimes the pitchers just aren’t good enough despite the matchup. Enter Koehler.

Shelby Miller – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Miller had to keep his regression alive juuuust a little longer to make his 2015 season more believable. Count me out for 2016.

Sean Nolin – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Nah. You’re just not my type Nolin. What type is that? Good.

Keyvius Sampson – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I’d rather sit through a full season of than start Keyvius. Yeah, Sampson and I aren’t the best of pals.

Randy Wolf – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. He strayed from the pack. A pack of cards that you can’t even play with anymore after they were soaked in booze from drinking games since you started Wolf for some reason no one understands.

Today’s Streamer

Lance McCullers vs. Seattle MarinersHe has the best upside of any streamer tomorrow and gets a solid matchup against Seattle.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Matt Shoemaker vs. Oakland AthleticsSure, Shoemaker could blow up in your face, but if you’re streaming these days, it’s for that sweet sweet upside.

Game of the Day

Zack Greinke vs. San Francisco GiantsI have a soft spot for Arrieta and kinda want to see if Greinke will choke in his final starts to give Arrieta the ERA lead. And if that doesn’t work out, well then you’ve just watched a master do his thang.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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